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Microsoft gearing up to reintroduce iPad competitors running Windows 7

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Microsoft will again present Slate PCs running Windows 7 at next month's 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, hoping to offer users an alternative to Apple's iPad.

According to a report by New York Times, "Microsofts chief executive [Steve Ballmer] is expected to announce a number of these devices when he takes the stage at CES, showcasing devices built by Samsung and Dell, among a number of other manufacturing partners."

The report said that the new crop of Slate PCs include a model from Samsung "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing."

Samsung already sells its Android-based Galaxy Tab, but that 7 inch device isn't designed to function as an iPad-like tablet as much as an oversized smartphone (or iPod touch). Google's version of Android aimed at competing in the iPad market isn't due until next summer.

Microsoft hopes to bring Windows 7 to market to serve as a contender in the table market, which is currently dominated by Apple's iPad. Without time to develop a new operating system or adapt its fledgling Windows Phone 7 to work on full sized devices, the company is falling back to a strategy that pairs the conventional Windows 7 desktop in landscape mode with a new "layered interface that will appear when the keyboard is hidden and the device is held in a portrait mode," the report stated.

No focus on apps

While the large library of custom iPad apps delivers much of the allure connected to Apple's tablet, Microsoft is following Google's Chrome OS strategy of relying on HTML5 to unlock the value of partner's new devices. The report cited "a person who works at Microsoft" as saying that "the company was encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5."

The same source said that "applications will not be sold in an app store, as with the Apple iTunes model, but Microsoft will encourage software partners to host the applications on their own Web sites, which will then be highlighted in a search interface on the slate computers. It is unclear if these applications will be ready for CES as most are still in production."

Microsoft similarly downplayed the importance of available third party software when launching Windows Phone 7, claiming that smartphone users don't want to be distracted with lots of functionality in their mobile phone. Claiming the same thing about tablet computers will be harder to do, but the new devices' backward compatibility with conventional Windows apps will make this less necessary.

Lots of Tablet PC failure: 2001-2005

Microsoft began touting "Pen Computing" in the early 90s, at a time when Apple was bringing its Newton Message Pad to market. Stylus-based tablet never caught on outside of a brief flurry of cheap PDAs offered by companies like Palm.

In 2000, just as the promising PDA market was reaching its peak, Microsoft debuted the Tablet PC as a "new" concept, in an effort to sell desktop Windows to mobile users.

While Palm converted its PDA business to smartphones, Microsoft's Tablet PCs never garnered much attention. Near the end of 2001, Bill Gates claimed that Microsoft's Tablet PC would become the most popular form of PC in five years, but that never happened.

A year later at the end of 2002, even Gartner was reporting that "despite much publicity and market promotion, the Tablet PC is not expected to result in a high rate of early adoption."

The firm wrote at the time that "a lack of application support, clumsy hardware designs and a price premium will be barriers for most users," but still predicted that "by 2007 at least 35 percent of all notebooks sold will have screen digitizers with a convertible or separable keyboard design." Even that conservative five year prediction didn't pan out.



UMPC Origami tablet failure: 2006

In 2006, Microsoft relaunched Tablet PCs as part of Project Origami, resulting in a category of products the company named UMPC (for "ultra mobile"). The primary UMPC device was Samsung's $1300 Q1, which ran both Windows XP (upgradable to Vista) as well as Microsoft's mobile Windows CE (since rebranded as "Windows XP Embedded" to escape the stigma of Windows CE's past failures.)

In 2006, Gartner said that it believed Microsoft's UMPC was rushed to market and "assigned a probability of 80% to the UMPC not achieving mainstream success (sales in the millions of units) by 2009," according to a report made at the time by Pen Computing.

That same year, CNET UK pitted the Samsung Q1 against a decade old Newton MessagePad 2000 from 1997 and pronounced the Newton as a better mobile device overall.

Surface, Courier and the Slate PC: 2007-2009

In 2007, Microsoft turned its attention to touch-based desktop PCs as Apple released the first iPhone, later unveiling the Microsoft Surface prototype. Apple continued to broaden its reach into the tablet market with the iPod touch, which delivered much of the functionality of a tablet while only claiming to be an entertainment device.

In 2009, Microsoft floated prototype pictures of the Courier, a dual screen tablet device that was supposed to support both multitouch and stylus input, and run the same software as Windows Phone 7 (at least according to the imagination of the company's fans). Microsoft officially scuttled the project in 2010.

In 2010, Microsoft once again focused on Tablet PCs, this time under the name Slate PC, showing off a prototype of an HP Slate running Windows 7. That device ended up selling just 9,000 units as Apple's full sized iPad began selling into the millions.
post #2 of 77
If it's true that only 9000 HP slates were sold then that's pretty astoundingly bad.

I expected the HP slate to sell much better than that, but didn't expect it to rival the iPad.

MS should look at the real sales figures of the HP slate and evaluate them objectively. If it really is selling that poorly they need to quit trying to sell slates based of Win 7 and move on to developing Win 7 series mobile for a slate device. Frankly I'm surprised they haven't done this already.
post #3 of 77
If this is indeed true, then this is more indication the Microsoft doesn't understand what is making the iPad a success: namely the applications specifically designed with the iPad in mind, instead of taking desktop applications and shoe-horning them into a device not designed for them.

Is this indication that Microsoft has lost touch with the market, or that they are so busy trying to sell to businesses that they haven't noticed the influence of the consumer market on certain business choices.
post #4 of 77
You forget how fugly some of this crap was until you see Bill Gates standing next to it at CES from 10 years ago.
post #5 of 77
Where do you start to comment on this?

MS product development has really come off the rails, with one "Hail Mary" after another. I have visions of Balmer either freaking out on people who don't know what to do, or he is sitting in his office saying "Whatever" to any product development person that comes in the door. I get the distinct impression that he has given up, and just wants something to say, no matter how unlikely it will succeed or actually work, at these CES gatherings.

He must know he is in a bad position, wants to take the money and run, but has to do this for the board members, at least one more time.

I can hardly wait for the tell all book that some employee with write one day, and his management is all laid out in can't look away cringing detail. I will read it on my ipad.
post #6 of 77
The larger a company gets, the harder it is to make decisive choices that leave the familiar. Microsoft just hasn't been able to give up their bread and butter. I wonder if there would ever be a future where the tech world paradigm has shifted so much and Apple just keeps thinking iOS is the solution for everything. This is hard to imagine, but if you had told me how much Microsoft would fall just 5 years ago, I would have called you crazy. And i've been a die hard mac fan since the early 90's.

Does anyone in the entire world really believe that you can just add touch capability to a desktop operating system, and everything will be okay? Sure.... ship that running on a phone...or a pda...or a slate...or a pony. It wasn't designed for it, but hey, Windows isn't technically 'designed' for any specific hardware configuration so no big deal right? Wrong.
post #7 of 77
Where do you get your information? Like the HP sales, please provide links???

We are trying to get a slate at work, its on back order, and its only been for sale for something like 30 days now or less.

I know from working in the medical industry for 4 year that tablet based PC's sold well in certain markets, yet nothing mentioned in this blog post????

My prediction, no matter what Microsoft and others come out with at CES, AI will predict failure, quote some ifan idiot like Jon Gruber, and tell us why the iPad is so much better. Just save my post and use it as a blog article!!
post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's mobile Windows CE (since rebranded as "Windows XP Embedded" to escape the stigma of Windows CE's past failures.)

Seriously AI? If you can't even get the most basic factual content of the article correct then why even bother reporting on non-Apple products?

All you achieve with this is to make your readers look like total idiots when they repeat this BS in the real world.

I love your breaking news on Apple products, however your reporting on non-Apple products is simply rubbish.
post #9 of 77
MS and Balmer are so pitiful! They keep trying to be another Apple but don't have a clue what to do except react to what Apple does.

I'd laugh at how idiotic it all is, but then laughing at a train wreck is not really very nice.\

KRR
post #10 of 77
So this MS snoozefest, where they put their colossal ignorance of the market on display, will be an annual thing, then?
post #11 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

Where do you get your information? Like the HP sales, please provide links???

We are trying to get a slate at work, its on back order, and its only been for sale for something like 30 days now or less.

I know from working in the medical industry for 4 year that tablet based PC's sold well in certain markets, yet nothing mentioned in this blog post????

My prediction, no matter what Microsoft and others come out with at CES, AI will predict failure, quote some ifan idiot like Jon Gruber, and tell us why the iPad is so much better. Just save my post and use it as a blog article!!

They got the 9,000 number from the widely quoted number of 5,000 produced and 9,000 ordered which produced a sell out and a backorder. Here is one source: http://www.wirejacked.com/index.php/...production-run

5,000 is a typical run when HP is unsure of demand. Since it is not a real consumer item but really a business one, it sounds about right.
post #12 of 77
A brown Zune pad is sure to turn some heads...
post #13 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbarry View Post

They got the 9,000 number from the widely quoted number of 5,000 produced and 9,000 ordered which produced a sell out and a backorder. Here is one source: http://www.wirejacked.com/index.php/...production-run

5,000 is a typical run when HP is unsure of demand. Since it is not a real consumer item but really a business one, it sounds about right.

No need to respond to anything that Betty Blue the troll posts here. Killfile him.

Now he'll expect me to post sources and links to places verifying that he's a troll.
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

So this MS snoozefest, where they put their colossal ignorance of the market on display, will be an annual thing, then?

Yes. the name will soon change from CES (Consumer electronics Show) to WinCES since MS buys into the so-called keynote every year and Ballmer turns what used to be a serious event into Open Mic night at Rooster T. Feathers.

Next stop: Guest hosting the Jay Letterman O'Brien Show.
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

A brown Zune pad is sure to turn some heads...

Your post makes me miss AI member wilco, who specialized in his analysis of brown Zunes.
I guess he was banned.
post #16 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Yes. the name will soon change from CES (Consumer electronics Show) to WinCES since MS buys into the so-called keynote every year and Ballmer turns what used to be a serious event into Open Mic night at Rooster T. Feathers.

WinCES is an appropriate name. I know it makes me wince every time I see Ballmer perform.
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

I don't know about you guys, but I'm actually looking forward to win7 tablets / slates. I've used the old tablets for taking notes back in college, and they worked extremely well. I hope they don't do away with a stylus tho (*cough* i'm looking at you, Apple *cough* ) cause handwriting support in those made them amazing.

I had two tablet PCs back in the day. Needless to say, even as a developer, I never used it much as a tablet and it quickly lost its novelty. The handwriting recognition was great, but the problem is that most people don't write by hand anymore. So I'd say that typing for younger people is the only way they write.
post #18 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

No need to respond to anything that Betty Blue the troll posts here. Killfile him.

Now he'll expect me to post sources and links to places verifying that he's a troll.

You responded Tod.
post #19 of 77
LOL @ the Slate already being amongst all the other failures.
post #20 of 77
"relying on HTML5 to unlock the value of partner's new devices. The report cited "a person who works at Microsoft" as saying that "the company was encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5."

If these apps use HTML5, could they not just work through any HTML5 browser? For example, Safari or Chrome? If that is so, where is the incentive to buy one of these new slates?
post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Grain of Salt View Post

"relying on HTML5 to unlock the value of partner's new devices. The report cited "a person who works at Microsoft" as saying that "the company was encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5."

If these apps use HTML5, could they not just work through any HTML5 browser? For example, Safari or Chrome? If that is so, where is the incentive to buy one of these new slates?

Probably not much from a consumer perspective. However in a corporate enviroment the ability to work with Windows applications and support for Sharepoint/etc has huge advantages.
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Grain of Salt View Post

If these apps use HTML5, could they not just work through any HTML5 browser? For example, Safari or Chrome? If that is so, where is the incentive to buy one of these new slates

The idea at least is that the incentive is that if it was a better device you would buy it. At the moment it doesn't matter if Microsoft release something better than the iPad... people are invested in the Apple ecosystem so they would just wait until Apple released their next version.

I'm not sure how far I believe Microsoft as they essentially have two totally different strategies.

In the desktop where they have the biggest market share it's all about thick front ends with a cloud back end. However with mobile where they don't have much of a market share we keep hearing about HTML 5 and web apps.

I have a feeling if Microsoft were in Apple's position they wouldn't stop talking about the importance of apps.
post #23 of 77
Since competition drives innovation, it would be nice to see a credible competitor to the iPad. That would force Apple to innovate more.

However, I'm uncertain if that competition will come from a Windows-based tablet.
post #24 of 77
come on folks. it's utterly obvious MS is getting panicked about Google's Chrome OS, not the iPad. if Chrome succeeds big time (i doubt it) it poses a mortal threat to Windows - the beginning of the end of the Windows monopoly.

so in true MS style, Ballmer will throw out some vaporware to try to muddy the water as the Chrome release comes into view next year.

if MS were thinking iPad instead, we'd be seeing the ZunePad!
post #25 of 77
As a long time Apple user (my first was an apple //c in 1985) I know this is heresy but my wish for Microsoft is that they would become a great software company. I want them to stop trying to rule the world. Like Rome, they are on the decline and they will fall. I wish they would embrace the change and make great applications for Macintosh, Windows, Chrome, iOS, Android, WebOS, and any other platform out there. I do not even want them to stop competing in the OS spaces, just make better products. They could do this by embracing how the other half lives and learn from it instead of the narrow dogmatic view that we do Windows and all must bow before us. Think how great it would be to have a great version of office on iPad, Flight Simulator on the Mac, or any real, great breakthroughs on all platforms that Microsoft could create if they let the incredible amount of talent that they employ open up and change the paradigm. Become true partners to others not their current smash and grab style. Microsoft would again grow as a company both in relevance and in revenues not to mention share price. Even someone as long on AAPL as myself might buy a few shares. Utopian I know, but my biggest beef with Microsoft now is I just see a huge waste of talent.

Brian
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

In the desktop where they have the biggest market share it's all about thick front ends with a cloud back end. However with mobile where they don't have much of a market share we keep hearing about HTML 5 and web apps.

I think MS are being too strategic for their own good here. Their hope must be that if they and Google focus on HTML5 then that will become the standard platform and iOS will be marginalised. They can then tell their business customers the iPad is "non-standard," a phrase sure to scare any manager.

But I say "for their own good" because what they really need to be focussing on right now is simply making a better product than Apple. Otherwise people will continue to buy iPads and all their high-faluting "platform" strategizing will come to naught.

Edit: of-course the iPad supports HTML5 too, so maybe Steve is one step ahead of them here... If the Web is the new PC, then Steve has made the iPad "PC-compatible" from day 1.
post #27 of 77
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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post #28 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

A brown Zune pad is sure to turn some heads...

LOL! Don't look at the Windows Tablet PCs, children, it's full of fail!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Grain of Salt View Post

"relying on HTML5 to unlock the value of partner's new devices. The report cited "a person who works at Microsoft" as saying that "the company was encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5."

If these apps use HTML5, could they not just work through any HTML5 browser? For example, Safari or Chrome? If that is so, where is the incentive to buy one of these new slates?

<steveballmer>D'Oh!!</steveballmer>
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
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My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
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post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This is the same company that tried to sell the Kin smartphone earlier this year, pulled it since it sold less than 10000, and just last month decides to try and resell it again. Although to be fair, it's probably just trying to get rid of old stock.
post #31 of 77
Oh gawd. Not another round of garbage coming out of CES.
post #32 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Seriously AI? If you can't even get the most basic factual content of the article correct then why even bother reporting on non-Apple products?

All you achieve with this is to make your readers look like total idiots when they repeat this BS in the real world.

I love your breaking news on Apple products, however your reporting on non-Apple products is simply rubbish.


Hey, Firefly (love the show!) repudiate, man. Rebut. In other words, there's something wrong with the article, point out EXACTLY what. You want to claim CE was a success? Give us evidence. But to write in and claim the article is wrong without suppling any reasons, that's just pointless.
post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbarry View Post

They got the 9,000 number from the widely quoted number of 5,000 produced and 9,000 ordered which produced a sell out and a backorder. Here is one source: http://www.wirejacked.com/index.php/...production-run

5,000 is a typical run when HP is unsure of demand. Since it is not a real consumer item but really a business one, it sounds about right.

It sounds about right to who? Someone who wants to have a colossal failure on their hands?
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

come on folks. it's utterly obvious MS is getting panicked about Google's Chrome OS, not the iPad. if Chrome succeeds big time (i doubt it) it poses a mortal threat to Windows - the beginning of the end of the Windows monopoly.

so in true MS style, Ballmer will throw out some vaporware to try to muddy the water as the Chrome release comes into view next year.

if MS were thinking iPad instead, we'd be seeing the ZunePad!

You're absolutely right, Alfie. Thanks for that analysis. The iPad sells millions, MS is rushing to put Windows on a tablet, and it's all about Google.

Better get a refund on your business school tuition.
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeBarnes View Post

Hey, Firefly (love the show!) repudiate, man. Rebut. In other words, there's something wrong with the article, point out EXACTLY what. You want to claim CE was a success? Give us evidence. But to write in and claim the article is wrong without suppling any reasons, that's just pointless.

Personally I don't think it's accurate to call CE a failure but it could be argued either way. That's beside the point though. Saying Windows CE was rebranded as "Windows XP Embedded" to escape the stigma Windows CE's past failures is a fundamentally incorrect statement.

Imagine going to "MicrosoftInsider" and reading that Apple rebranded OSX as iOS to escape the stigma of OSX's past failures and you would be part of the way to understanding.

It's probably more like going to "DogInsider" and reading that all cats are actually chickens...

My previous point still stands. If the writers are so hopelessly clueless about non-Apple products then why bother writing about them at all?

I'll continue to heap praise on AI for its stories on Apple products as this is far and away my my favorite site for Apple news, but the stories on non-Apple products are terrible and I feel sorry for the loyal readers that use AI as their only source of information for tech outside the Appleverse.
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft will again present Slate PCs running Windows 7 at next month's 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, hoping to offer users an alternative to Apple's iPad.

I see they still haven't learnt their lesson!
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

Where do you get your information? Like the HP sales, please provide links???

We are trying to get a slate at work, its on back order, and its only been for sale for something like 30 days now or less.

I know from working in the medical industry for 4 year that tablet based PC's sold well in certain markets, yet nothing mentioned in this blog post????

My prediction, no matter what Microsoft and others come out with at CES, AI will predict failure, quote some ifan idiot like Jon Gruber, and tell us why the iPad is so much better. Just save my post and use it as a blog article!!

Apart from your poor grammar (for 4 year), how does that fact extrapolate to "that tablet PC's sold well in certain markets". What information are you privy that supports this ? Yet immediately you ask (or is it a demand) for this so called "fact" be included in the post.
I'm mighty confused by your post, it just doesn't make sense, unless you see it as a gag reflex of an Apple-hater.
I still ask the same question, and that is, why are people like you on this post, why do you bother to read Jon Gruber, knowing for well that he is pro-Apple (just like the majority here).
Do you get your kicks from annoying people ? You certainly don't annoy me (except for the terrible English you use), what the heck its a free world, but I still don't get your types.

Now to the gory details as follows:
FACT - Windows based tablets have been an abject failure
FACT - One cannot hide the deficiencies of stylist (pointy stick) based UI
FACT - PC based OS cannot work properly on tablets, the UI experience sucks big time

How can I make it any clearer to you and your kind ?
Forget about the apps and so on, just think about the UI, how will it work ?
It hasn't in the past, what magical solution has M$ found this time around ?

So taking this into account and adding apps, the eco-system, timely OS updates, a fantastic developer environment, simple synching, a beautifully designed device, the elegance and simplicity of use of the UI, how can one go past the iPad ? Hang on there I know, those that hate Apple with much vile, and simply too stupid/stubborn to reconsider.
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Seriously AI? If you can't even get the most basic factual content of the article correct then why even bother reporting on non-Apple products?

All you achieve with this is to make your readers look like total idiots when they repeat this BS in the real world.

I love your breaking news on Apple products, however your reporting on non-Apple products is simply rubbish.

Didn't take long for the troll to respond.
No point wasting my time arguing as the troll is incapable of understanding logic, but I guess that what makes a troll a troll.
post #39 of 77
What is being described here, folks, is an "exercise in futility".
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

I don't know about you guys, but I'm actually looking forward to win7 tablets / slates. I've used the old tablets for taking notes back in college, and they worked extremely well. I hope they don't do away with a stylus tho (*cough* i'm looking at you, Apple *cough* ) cause handwriting support in those made them amazing.

So where do you put the stylus when you are not doodling with it ?
It would make a great nose picker.
How do you like my stupid comments ? Well they are no different from yours.
Stylus ? Are you kidding me ? think please, why is there a need of the stylus ? As most likely you can't give me an answer, then I will. Before doing so, let me give you a hint, it has something to do with the responsiveness of the screen. Thats right you got it.
But hang on you say, what about the doodling, I say what about just a simple note pad made of paper. You see I don't have to argue with fact, I can just be obnoxious like all Apple-haters, and just be plain obnoxious. Do you like it ?
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