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Microsoft exec says tablets like Apple's iPad may be just a fad

post #1 of 196
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Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer recently said he's not sure that devices like Apple's iPad will last, because he sees the smartphone as the true successor to the traditional PC.

Craig Mundie made the comments in Sydney at a lunch held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Mundie said there is a question as to whether tablets like Apple's iPad will "remain with us or not."

"Today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between (a PC and a smartphone)," Mundie said. "Personally, I don't know whether that space will be a persistent one or not."

While he believes most computing will be done on phones in the future, Mundie believes the successor to the traditional desktop PC is "the room." He envisions a future where a person's at-home computer won't be a box on a desk, but something that users can interact with wherever they are in a room, powered by a device like Microsoft's controller-free gaming controller, the Kinect.

Mundie's comments on devices like the iPad may offer some insight as to how Microsoft internally views the importance of the touchscreen tablet market. In 2010, Microsoft pushed Windows 7-powered "slate PCs," but the most prominent device in that category, released by HP, failed to generate much interest.

While Microsoft has struggled in the tablet market, Apple found great success in 2010, selling 15 million of the first-generation iPad. Sales are only expected to grow this year, as the newly released iPad 2 is still drawing lines as Apple struggles to keep up with demand.

The comments from Microsoft's Mundie echo some of what Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in an interview last year. Jobs said he believes that smartphones and other "post-PC" mobile devices will eventually negate the need for a traditional computer for most users.

But where Jobs and Mundie differ is on the future success of the iPad: Jobs believes the iPad is leading the transition to the "uncomfortable" post-PC era of computing.

Last year, Jobs compared the PC market to the U.S. automobile industry, noting that most vehicles in America at first were trucks, because they were driven by farmers. But as cars became more popular with the growth of cities, and features like power steering and automatic transmission were added, the truck came to represent a smaller number of vehicles on the road. "PCs are going to be like trucks," he said.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer later fired back with a different spin on Jobs' analogy: "There may be a reason they call them Mack Trucks," Ballmer said, referring to Apple's Mac line of computers. "But Windows machines are not going to be trucks."
post #2 of 196
Translation: we're at least distantly aware of the fact that we don't have a viable tablet strategy, so we're hoping the market evolves towards what we do have, instead of us having to move towards the market.

Also, we'll undoubtably be in charge of some indeterminate future where our vague notions of how "people" want to "interact" with "technology" are blissfully free of irritating details like actual shipping product. We seem to have sold a lot Kinects, so god willing everyone will use that. For, um, computing stuff.
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post #3 of 196
Sorry but the need for something bigger that 3.5, 4, and 4.3 inch screen automatically makes you wrong MS. Come out with a tablet and then you can talk.
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"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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post #4 of 196
Another dumb set of comment from a foolish MS exec. They don't get the market so they just hope they can figure something out. The Kinect is cool, but it's not going to be practical to have the Room be the computer. Not like they are talking about. I'm not sure he even knows what he is talking about.
post #5 of 196
And this mentality is why M$ never has been and never will be innovative. They consistently look back rather than forward. They copy rather than create. Windows PCs might still dominate but they will never inspire. Big ideas like "the room is the computer" need a roadmap for taking you there and Apple has a clear roadmap. The iPad and future iterations may be temporary but then, so are smartphones and desktop computers for that matter. There is always something more innovative coming down the pipes. If tablets are still a big part of the tech landscape in 10 years, I will be disappointed. The point is, Apple's iPad, Apple TV, etc. are all part of a greater strategy, and that strategy will evolve over time. The iPad doesn't need to be the future... it just needs to take us there.
post #6 of 196
Are they hiring these Microsoft executives to be highly paid navel gazers?

Even if the iPad turned out to be a fad, they're making a hell of a business around it, AND they've got the high-end smartphone market cornered. Microsoft, you're a ship of fools sinking fast.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #7 of 196
If you don't have anything smart to say, don't say anything at all.
post #8 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Translation: we're at least distantly aware of the fact that we don't have a viable tablet strategy, so we're hoping the market evolves towards what we do have, instead of us having to move towards the market.

Also, we'll undoubtedly be in charge of some indeterminate future where our vague notions of how "people" want to "interact" with "technology" are blissfully free of irritating details like actual shipping product. We seem to have sold a lot Kinects, so god willing everyone will use that. For, um, computing stuff.

YEAH addabox.... Mundie and the majority of the Klan at Nokiasoft are so clue-free I'm amazed they even know what a tablet or smartphone looks like..!!!
post #9 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTBlomberg View Post

Another dumb set of comment from a foolish MS exec. They don't get the market so they just hope they can figure something out. The Kinect is cool, but it's not going to be practical to have the Room be the computer. Not like they are talking about. I'm not sure he even knows what he is talking about.

Mundie hasn't actually ever seen Kinect in action... he just read about it in one of the company reports and thought it sounded cool... then he just went from there after snorting back a couple of lines...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #10 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Translation: we're at least distantly aware of the fact that we don't have a viable tablet strategy, so we're hoping the market evolves towards what we do have, instead of us having to move towards the market.

Also, we'll undoubtably be in charge of some indeterminate future where our vague notions of how "people" want to "interact" with "technology" are blissfully free of irritating details like actual shipping product. We seem to have sold a lot Kinects, so god willing everyone will use that. For, um, computing stuff.

^ This.

I don't know why these CEOs and directors keep making these kinds of statements that are obviously thinly veiled attempts to hide their own company's ineptitude, lack of vision, and inability to play catch-up. Do they really think anyone is going to believe these statements are anything else?

Hell, even the Kinect, which he bills as some visionary MS product, is actually a four-year-old-late-to-the-game attempt to compete with Wii/Wiimote interaction. Pathetic, dude.
post #11 of 196
So pathetic that it's not even funny anymore.

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #12 of 196
This corporate soap opera is getting better and better. Stay tuned for the next episode!
post #13 of 196
First Dell and HP, and now Microsoft. How can it be that these executives don't get it? I love my iPhone, but there's no way that a smartphone can replace a desktop or laptop computer. Even my iPad 2 cannot fully replace my iMac. For some people, however, an iPad will be sufficient (especially when iPads can be activated without iTunes). What's this about a room being a computer? They can't be serious. Tablets are here to stay. Just because they're running scared, they want to sow seeds of doubt. Sorry, guys, it's not gonna work. You just sound desperate.
post #14 of 196
Microsoft sure has some morons running the show.
post #15 of 196
The GUI and mouse were also just a fad.
The iPod was also just a fad.

MS will come around, eventually, as they always do, though it seems to be getting harder and harder for them to use their position to make a solid claim to a market.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #16 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Microsoft sure has some morons running the show.

Yeah As long as they are talking that way and acting that way Apple will be just fine.

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #17 of 196
Microsoft has a BIG mouth and no product... every time they come out like this they end up eating their words... so I'll take this as confirmation that the ipad2 will be a smash hit, even bigger than anybody expects...
remember when Baldmer said: "iPhone has "no chance" of gaining significant market share"
Microsoft needs to kill windows and start fresh... maybe they just need to go bankrupt to start a SERIOUS innovation phase.. but whatever it is MS deserves to be the last... even going bankrupt (not that it's going to happen in our lifetime...) but who knows.. ;-)
post #18 of 196
ok, I read all the stories but don't post much and I just have to say this...

Microsoft is only saying this because they don't have a viable competing product. Their jealous of Apples success. They tried tablets for years with little success and Apple comes in here and pulls the rug from underneath them.

Oh wait. Apple did the same thing to Microsoft with their iPhone and now Microsoft is struggling to compete in that area when they used to have a stronghold of that market.

Also, if Microsoft actually believes that the smartphone is where it is all at then MS will be hurting again because Windows Phone 7 is still too limited to even be comparable to a tablet's use or let alone Adroid or iPhone.

Can you imagine trying to use Windows Phone 7 like an iPad or netbook? MS still has a long ways to go. I am not saying they can't do it, I just wish MS would spend more time in actually CARING about PRODUCING and an AWESOME product that people would fall in love with. They could do it IF they WANTED to but they choose to be lazy and only care about SELLING SELLING SELLING while forgetting the most important ingredient to a product which is gradual perfection. I don't mean perfection as in it has to be perfect. I mean as something that is always improved on because of care and concise efforts. It's a gradual thing til' you get it just right - the same way you do it making cookies until you get it perfect.

I compare Microsoft to GM. While Honda and Toyota kept producing more sales GM just didn't care about their cars and just spitted out whatever they could muster together. Honda and Toyota cares about their products which is why they keep selling more of them. You can trace a Corolla or Civic all the way back to the 70's without a lapse period but you sure can't do the same with GM products. They quite and give up and keep trying something new just to SELL something that will SELL without putting any perfection in their product.

ok I am done and please, I am not here to argue with anyone so if you don't agree with me, that's cool, I don't need everyone's approval to make me happy. hehe
post #19 of 196
the head-in-the-sand mentality at that company runs quite deep, apparently.
post #20 of 196
Yes, because it's Microsoft's vision of the future that sold 50 million iPads.

The execs at Microsoft need to step down and let a younger generation run the company. Otherwise Windows 11 will still support the 5 1/4" floppy drive.

Can you imaging using Microsoft Word on your phone? Duh. The phones screen is only big enough for small things like contacts, mail and games. BARELY games.
post #21 of 196
I'm wondering how many tens of millions of iPads Apple needs to sell, how many billions of dollars they need to make from those sales, before it isn't a "fad" anymore.

As someone else said upthread, I love my iPhone. I use it all the time. But to think that it's going to replace my 27" iMac ... no. Just no.

And with the addition of ATV2, AirPlay, my iPad ... the "room" is practically a computer already.

I get that Microsoft doesn't have a foothold in the tablet arena. I get that this probably irritates them. But seriously? You don't need to make a fool out of yourself in order to try and deal with those issues.
post #22 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolaaron88 View Post

Sorry but the need for something bigger that 3.5, 4, and 4.3 inch screen automatically makes you wrong MS. Come out with a tablet and then you can talk.

In the short term to medium-term, I agree, you need something with a bigger screen. In the long-term, say 5-10 years out, I'd say you would just wirelessly transmit the iPhone screen to a bigger screen... be that a TV screen, computer screen, digital picture frame or something else.
post #23 of 196
Microsoft’s FAD (Fear, Anxiety & Depression) leads to them spreading FUD when it comes to Apple’s success.

But can you blame them? Not only is every iPad sale a potentially lost PC with Windows sale*, it’s also a potential loss from all the other iPad clones running WebOS, Android, PlayBook OS and whatever other non-Windows platform Apple made a market for with the introduction of the iPad last year.



* I say potentially because I doubt there is a 1:1 ratio of tablet buyers to PC buyers, but there will surely be a good deal that directly decide to buy a tablet running a mobile OS instead of buying a new PC for their next CE purchase. Then, indirectly, if they get an iPad they may decide to get a Mac for their next ‘PC’ purchase
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #24 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But where Jobs and Mundie differ is on the future success of the iPad: Jobs believes the iPad is leading the transition to the "uncomfortable" post-PC era of computing.


I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, but what is with the "uncomfortable" part of the post-PC era?

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post #25 of 196
All these companies taking jabs at Apple is just ridiculous, first of all its making them sound like all they're doing it whining because they aren't as successful and they look completely juvenile. "I know you are but what am I?" Type of thing. As much as I didn't care for Dell, HP and microsoft before this is just adding fuel to the fire and making me like them even less. The numbers and the lines definitely don't lie, iPad/tablets are here to stay.
post #26 of 196
It's nice to see MS is hiring the mentally handicapped.

I like their strategy. I like it a lot.
post #27 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Microsofts FAD (Fear, Anxiety & Depression) leads to them spreading FUD when it comes to Apples success.

But can you blame them? Not only is every iPad sale a potentially lost PC sale running Windows, its also a potential loss from all the other iPad clones running WebOS, Android, PlayBook OS and whatever other non-Windows platform Apple made a market for with the introduction of the iPad last year.

Well, I can blame them for coming up with ridiculous claims, yes. Why not deal with the problem by spending time developing your own tablet?

This comes off as juvenile and unprofessional.
post #28 of 196
This bit about there being more trucks than cars in the early years of the automobile industry has popped up again. It's simply not true, but let's not let facts get in the way of a good metaphor.

Yours
Vern
post #29 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Mundie hasn't actually ever seen Kinect in action... he just read about it in one of the company reports and thought it sounded cool... then he just went from there after snorting back a couple of lines...

Shows what a square you are! You don't snort 'back' anything... you just 'do'/'snort' a few lines, or 'do' a 'bump'. There now you can sound cool to your co-workers.

Reference: Some really wide eyed hipster told me.
post #30 of 196
What this comment illustrates is that Microsoft has no feel for user expertise and user interface. A phone? Here is one example: the Real Estate Agent showing you possible houses to go look at. On a phone? Here is another: The doctor showing you your X-Ray. On a phone?

For many, many things, a phone is too cramped and a laptop is unwieldy. The tablet is the perfect machine for that and touch interface based UI is making it possible.

Microsoft thinks apparently from "things you want to get done" (e.g. write a document). They apparently do not think from "how you are doing it".
post #31 of 196
Here is a quote from another M$ executive: "But I'm bullish about the prospects of the Tablet PC--since it already runs all of today's most important applications, many laptop users will want one right away. By the end of 2003, you can expect to see one-third to one-half of the ultraportable market move to the Tablet PC." Bill Gates, Nov. 9, 2001 to InformationWeek.

They didn't get it then and they still don't.
post #32 of 196
Microsoft has been really good at defending and extending its Windows and Office hegemony. When it comes to thinking past that, they seem to be a weird combination of poor execution now while constantly promising a future that never arrives.

Origami, Spot, Surface, Courier, all hyped and never delivered on. Not only not delivered on, but apparently not in any way integrated into anything like a shipping product. If not, what's the point? Does MS R&D get to just dick around with demo videos?

Kinect, to their credit, seems to work well and have a lot of potential. But why should we expect MS to ever deliver on that potential? It's all well and good to talk of interacting with "the room", but is anything substantial being done to make that idea into an actually useful product? And has anyone actually thought through the implications of waving your arms around to make things happen, outside of a game environment? Or this another "sounds cool if you don't think about much" MS vision thing?

It's so remarkably the opposite of how Apple operates. Apple never floats "vision" stuff. They announce shipping product, and ship it. They patiently build the systems that enable functionality that people want. Sometimes it's iterative, and not very sexy or flashy. But look at where they are now compared to where they were five years ago. MS, for all intents and purposes, is in exactly the same place they were five years ago-- making a lot of money selling Windows and Office licenses, and making vague stabs at keeping up with the market that's changing out from under them.
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post #33 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inklings2 View Post

Here is a quote from another M$ executive: "But I'm bullish about the prospects of the Tablet PC--since it already runs all of today's most important applications, many laptop users will want one right away. By the end of 2003, you can expect to see one-third to one-half of the ultraportable market move to the Tablet PC." Bill Gates, Nov. 9, 2001 to InformationWeek.

They didn't get it then and they still don't.

Ouchie.
post #34 of 196
Microsoft will sure anything.
post #35 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolaaron88 View Post

Come out with a tablet and then you can talk.

They have done - many times. Their efforts have been nothing but total fail. Addabox said it perfectly when he said (paraphrased), "translation: we have no viable competing product..."
post #36 of 196
It's been, what, ten years since Microsoft put everything it had behind its own vision of a tablet future? They couldn't sell it then, because it was, typically, appallingly designed (multiple manufacturer issues notwithstanding). Now they're pouring scorn on the iPad phenomenon. That's pretty rich, albeit par for the course.

Still, it must be pretty depressing having to continually try to catch up on new market directions by attempting to bad mouth your competitors' successes.
post #37 of 196
Hint to Microsoft: ur doing it wrong.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #38 of 196
This from a company that just mercifully put the Zune out of its misery, claiming it magically turned into Windows Phone 7...

Wow. Just. Wow.
post #39 of 196
anyone remember when Balmer made fun of the iPhone because "it doesn't even have a physical keyboard"?

This is just another comment in that area... and really means, we tried tables but failed. We know our current operating system (Windows 7) isn't really good at touch input and a new version using the Windows Phone interface isn't ready until 2012 / 2013. So in the meantime we'll just bad mouth the competition.
post #40 of 196
If Microsoft really feels this way, then they should focus all their attention to the Surface.
The Surface 2.0 looks real cool and I can imagine it being quite useful in certain environments.
It's the only 'cool' and interesting product Microsoft has at this point. It also caters to their 'industry' target audience.
Imagine a boardroom table where you could fling files and data back and forth. I imagine a lot of uses for the Surface... and right there is the problem with Microsoft. They have no imagination.
No idea how to implement - only gobble up patents and wait for someone else to eventually innovate... then sue and steal the business model.
This strategy may have worked in the 90's - but the curve is too fast now for them to keep up.

Ballmer is not a visionary. The more we hear from others in the company - I have doubts there is a single visionary working there - or if there is, they have been subdued by the corporate ladder climbers who were overly effective at what they do best.
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