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Microsoft exec says tablets like Apple's iPad may be just a fad - Page 2

post #41 of 196
Ask Ford or Chevy: they spend all that money advertising a product, among all their product lines, that the fewest people buy. (Well, there may be some dismal subcompact that gets outsold by an F-150, but you get the idea.)

Are they insane? No, they like big margins. Trucks have the biggest margins of any consumer class vehicle on the road.

These "post-PC" devices all suffer from thin margins that are only getting thinner as vendor X or vendor Y locks up the supply chain for various otherwise-hard-to-procure components. The easiest place for a Dell to compete and keep its margins somewhat higher than those in the tablet space is in the PC space, where commodification is still possible and profitable.

Microsoft shouldn't whine about the analogy; they should try to build a better truck.
post #42 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.


Exactly! And just what are we supposed to do between now and the time when the "room" becomes the computer?? That is at least 10 years down the road before it is usable. I love my iPhone but I prefer to use my larger screened iPad for tasks I spend a lot of time on. The iPhone is great when you are on the go but the iPad is my preferred method of computing.

Even Microsoft recognized the importance of the tablet years ago but they didn't execute correctly. Slapping an existing OS onto another form factor wasn't the answer. I'm amazed at how much of a leap ahead Apple has in this space even with everyone clammoring to catch up.
post #43 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by cronked View Post

Exactly! And just what are we supposed to do between now and the time when the "room" becomes the computer?? That is at least 10 years down the road before it is usable. I love my iPhone but I prefer to use my larger screened iPad for tasks I spend a lot of time on. The iPhone is great when you are on the go but the iPad is my preferred method of computing.

Even Microsoft recognized the importance of the tablet years ago but they didn't execute correctly. Slapping an existing OS onto another form factor wasn't the answer. I'm amazed at how much of a leap ahead Apple has in this space even with everyone clammoring to catch up.

My guess is that if some kind of gesture based computing actually becomes popular, it won't be MS that brings it to market. If nothing else, they'll hamstring it by insisting on tying it to Windows with some kind of awkward mashup of backwards compatibility and bolted on Kinect style controller.

That's the real problem, IMO: the Windows boat anchor. Nothing important can ever fly free of the legacy installed user base, as in the case of the baffling decision to stick with Windows for their tablets when they appear to have a pretty nice phone OS (finally).

And of course quarantining WP7 on handsets only will help suppress sales. I wonder at what point the complete collapse of a credible answer to what's happening now in the personal computing space will force changes in management? It's dire now, in another year it's going to be pathetic.
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post #44 of 196
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."

--- Snappy come-back of the year
post #45 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Mundie believes the successor to the traditional desktop PC is "the room." ...

This is pure futurism, which is to say, pure nonsense.

For the room to be the computer, we need technology that hasn't been invented yet and most likely won't be for hundreds of years, if ever. He's thinking of talking to the room like the holodeck on Star Trek but that just isn't going to be possible any time soon. Not to mention a 300 dpi screen the size of a wall (or all the walls).

That's all Microsoft ever has for "vision."
Crazy, Sci-Fi "wouldn't it be cool" ideas with no plan and no way to implement them. It's certainly all Bill Gates ever had. Jobs is a visionary but he's also a practical man. This guy is just spinning tales.
post #46 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by credulousDolt View Post

Ask Ford or Chevy: they spend all that money advertising a product, among all their product lines, that the fewest people buy. (Well, there may be some dismal subcompact that gets outsold by an F-150, but you get the idea.)

Are they insane? No, they like big margins. Trucks have the biggest margins of any consumer class vehicle on the road.

These "post-PC" devices all suffer from thin margins that are only getting thinner as vendor X or vendor Y locks up the supply chain for various otherwise-hard-to-procure components. The easiest place for a Dell to compete and keep its margins somewhat higher than those in the tablet space is in the PC space, where commodification is still possible and profitable.

Microsoft shouldn't whine about the analogy; they should try to build a better truck.

Unless everything I've read is incorrect, the iPhone has very high margins. I'm not sure about the iPad.
post #47 of 196
wow. you should all take a step back and listen to yourselves.

a guy who works for the baddies posits an alternative future to the one where you all lovingly carry your iPads around for all eternity and he is "mentally handicapped"?

to be honest, his view seems a little more considered than your collective one.

in essence what I'm hearing from all of you is "no, the future will be just like it is now. I'll have an iPad. It rocks because Steve says so, and makes me feel really 'post-PC'."

if history teaches us anything though, it is that the future WON'T be like today. It will be different. Likely in ways that few of us can imagine.

Clearly tablets will play a role in this for a while. Then they will be superceded. Just like every other piece of technology in human history.

The way you all collectively jump down the throat of this guy is pathetically misguided.

If Steve were to come on stage and say we see the iPad as a stopgap until flexible screen tech, or hologram tech (or whatever) reaches the point where we can move to the next form factor, what would your reaction be?
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post #48 of 196
He could have said "users" will continue with notebook etc. but what is this successor issue? could a 4 inch device replace a 15 inch device?
ok wait I can't imagine future with smart-phones but MS may give us a hint without hoping disappearance of tablets.
post #49 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

^ 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.

I like the Wii and I agree that Microsoft has fallen on its face on multiple product and technology fronts. But there is nothing pathetic about Kinect. It is simply brilliant. The Wii even does not compare, even if it was launched first. In fact, Kinect is probably the first truly brilliant development ever by Microsoft. It's only fair to give kudos where they are due, if we want to be credible.

What Microsoft execs have been saying about iPads, howvever, is the other side of brilliant.
post #50 of 196
It is a good thing the Windows based phones are so popular if this is what he believes... d'oh
post #51 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

So pathetic that it's not even funny anymore.

That's not fair. It's STILL funny.

Didn't MS visionary Bill Gates once say that 512K (or some number like that) was more RAM than anyone would ever need?

One prominent personage or another, at some point early on in these 'fads' histories, declared that the following would fade: MP3 players, the Internet, electricity, and the telephone.

I kid thee not. (Hence the links.)
post #52 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

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.

I sincerely doubt that there is anything I can do to make me sound or be cool at this point in time...

I'm now ready to be a consultant for Microsoft...
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post #53 of 196
If I were a MS stock holder I would be appalled and ask for an overhaul of the entire board. This is just crazy.
We all know MS is scared as hell of the ipad. MS wants bloat to puff help puff up the bottom line. The ipad gets no viruses so we don't need no damn Nortons. There is no blue screen of death, no alt-ctrl-delete nothing.
post #54 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

wow. you should all take a step back and listen to yourselves.

Good advice. You should take it.

In a nutshell, Microsoft's stance amounts to this:

I can't reach those grapes, so I'm pretty sure they're sour.
post #55 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

wow. you should all take a step back and listen to yourselves.

a guy who works for the baddies posits an alternative future to the one where you all lovingly carry your iPads around for all eternity and he is "mentally handicapped"?

to be honest, his view seems a little more considered than your collective one.

in essence what I'm hearing from all of you is "no, the future will be just like it is now. I'll have an iPad. It rocks because Steve says so, and makes me feel really 'post-PC'."

if history teaches us anything though, it is that the future WON'T be like today. It will be different. Likely in ways that few of us can imagine.

Clearly tablets will play a role in this for a while. Then they will be superceded. Just like every other piece of technology in human history.

The way you all collectively jump down the throat of this guy is pathetically misguided.

If Steve were to come on stage and say we see the iPad as a stopgap until flexible screen tech, or hologram tech (or whatever) reaches the point where we can move to the next form factor, what would your reaction be?

What a bizarre take on his remarks and the responses in this thread.

Nobody's claiming the iPad is the final iteration of computing. That's a ludicrous strawman. And the idea that we think this thing that we don't actually think because "Steve told us to" is just garden variety douchebaggery and completely uncalled for.

Now, back on planet Earth, people were responding to a real representative of a real company which has real problems responding to a real shift in technology. Vague musings about the distant future and an alarming willingness to dismiss what is obviously going to be a big part of personal computing for the foreseeable future isn't "considered", it's foolish.

With a sufficiently long frame of reference, anyone could say anything about any technology. "Well, we don't know how to build a cost competitive flat screen, but I reckon they'll be supplanted by holographic projections by and by, so no worries." Does that strike you as considered? Would mocking a spokesperson for a display company who would say something like that strike you as misguided group-think?
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post #56 of 196
Dell, HP, MS and Sony should stop all execs commenting on anything! Sheez!
post #57 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I like the Wii and I agree that Microsoft has fallen on its face on multiple product and technology fronts. But there is nothing pathetic about Kinect. It is simply brilliant. The Wii even does not compare, even if it was launched first. In fact, Kinect is probably the first truly brilliant development ever by Microsoft. It's only fair to give kudos where they are due, if we want to be credible.

What Microsoft execs have been saying about iPads, howvever, is the other side of brilliant.

I wasn't saying Kinect isn't a viable product or relatively good at it's form of human-computer interaction. My point was that it isn't as visionary as he billed it. Kinect probably would not have even been on Microsoft's radar had the Wii HCI revolution not happened, ergo, it is Microsoft's very late to the game answer to what Nintendo somewhat "forced" them to do to stay relevant/competitive.
post #58 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

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

Windows won't be dominant. That's pretty bloody uncomfortable, if you're Microsoft.
Please don't be insane.
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post #59 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

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

And remember when the ipod came out and Ballmer said who the hell would buy that? Yeah, and 5 years later and after watching Apple kick a$$ MS comes out with the Zune. POS.
And what is the big deal about windows 7? It is trash. We have it at my job and my girlfriend has it on her Dell. CRAP!!!
Now, in my house I'm paying out the butt for 12 mbs thru Atlantic broadband. Got my airport express hooked up to the router, my ipad on my lap and the way we go!!!!
Sc*** MS. They are going down!!!!!
post #60 of 196
This "room" he's talking about makes me think he's watched Minority Report a few too many times.
post #61 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

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.

You're snorting it wrong. -Steve
post #62 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

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.

You'd still need a way to interact with the larger screen. For anything but the simplest of applications, you need more screen space for controls to effectively use the application. (Or you could go the buttonless iPod Shuffle route...click once to play, three times to skip forward, twice and hold to fast forward, etc). So each of those bigger screens would need a touch interface and would need to transmit the user actions back to the smaller device to evaluate the input, update the display, and transmit it back to the larger screen.

Not saying it can't be done. But I think it would be more likely that those larger screens would be complete devices (ie, like an iPad), not just displays. You could have them reach back to your smaller device (iPhone) for data, user preferences, etc; but I think by then all that would already be in the cloud anyway.

So now I have an independent, larger screened device accessing the cloud for data. Hm, which fruit logo'd company do we know working on that already?
post #63 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

I like the Wii and I agree that Microsoft has fallen on its face on multiple product and technology fronts. But there is nothing pathetic about Kinect. It is simply brilliant. The Wii even does not compare, even if it was launched first. In fact, Kinect is probably the first truly brilliant development ever by Microsoft. It's only fair to give kudos where they are due, if we want to be credible.

What Microsoft execs have been saying about iPads, howvever, is the other side of brilliant.

A MS invention? Licensed tech... So much for MS inovation

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/19/ki...hind-the-tech/
post #64 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by VernK View Post

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

It isn't true? I'd be quite interested, I wasn't around then so I dont know. There were a lot of different types of larger vehicle.. They weren't all trucks but I've heard the front part of a truck/trailer called a tractor so if you include all commercial/industrial...

Anyway give us some stats if you know. Not to argue the point, just for the data hunger
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post #65 of 196
For the sake of argument, let's say that the room computer turns out to be a really great product ... how would you make it portable???

Yes, it's a retorical question. But feel free to speculate if you have any good solutions :-)
post #66 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allvar View Post

For the sake of argument, let's say that the room computer turns out to be a really great product ... how would you make it portable???

Yes, it's a retorical question. But feel free to speculate if you have any good solutions :-)

I assume the idea would be that you carried a digital identity with you (device, card, biometrics, implant, wearable) that toggled personalized services wherever you happened to be. The client devices would reside in the architecture, and instead of a single box that was the "computer" there would be many, many web connected devices distributed throughout the environment. There would still be portable screens, of course, but most if not all of their computing power would be offloaded to the always available servers.

This, of course, is also Google's vision, since a ubiquitously connected world is a world always ready to be served ads.

At any rate, all of this is fun to speculate about, but what is MS doing about it? You have to start somewhere, you have to lay the foundations. But they haven't.
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post #67 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Dell, HP, MS and Sony should stop all execs commenting on anything! Sheez!

For real! There is a serious epidemic of foot-in-mouth disease going on.
post #68 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

For real! There is a serious epidemic of foot-in-mouth disease going on.

At least Acer is just flat-out admitting that the low margin commodity computer doesn't make much sense in a world with iPads.

It's pretty shocking to consider how disruptive the iPad really is. Is their a major technology firm that hasn't recently responded to Apple's clout, either with bluster or a mea culpa? Or, in the case of Samsun, both, alternating, according to their special brand of crazy?
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #69 of 196
Those morons didn't understand the iPhone, and they don't understand the iPad either. Is anybody surprised?

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance," said Ballmer.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/new...rket-share.ars

Jealousy and desperation makes people say and do stupid things. All of Apple's competitor's are currently crapping in their pants.
post #70 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

At least Acer is just flat-out admitting that the low margin commodity computer doesn't make much sense in a world with iPads.

It's pretty shocking to consider how disruptive the iPad really is. Is their a major technology firm that hasn't recently responded to Apple's clout, either with bluster or a mea culpa? Or, in the case of Samsun, both, alternating, according to their special brand of crazy?

I seem to recall that Nintendo and Nokias CEOs have made such claims.
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 #71 of 196
Mundie is right, tablets may not be a long lasting trend. Though I think something like a tablet will continue for at least as long as we have desktops; it seems sort of like an inevitable direction for the portable computer.
post #72 of 196
Microsoft spends a lot on research, and thankfully for us they occasionally let us see what they are working on. I'll take that any day over the secrecy there is at Apple, but I'd also bet that there at least as many abandoned projects in Cupertino as well. Just because we don't get to see them doesn't mean that they don't exist.
post #73 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

At least Acer is just flat-out admitting that the low margin commodity computer doesn't make much sense in a world with iPads.

It's pretty shocking to consider how disruptive the iPad really is. Is their a major technology firm that hasn't recently responded to Apple's clout, either with bluster or a mea culpa? Or, in the case of Samsun, both, alternating, according to their special brand of crazy?

It is good that Acer finally saw the light. We'll see if it is too late.

With regard to the other verbal stumbles, it reminds me of the Abe Lincoln (or was it Mark Twain)
quote "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"
post #74 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.

You could always plug your super powerful phone into a tablet shaped touchscreen display, or monitor, or TV or other fancy display doodad.
post #75 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

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.

Agreed! It is this lack of vision and poor execution that has taken Microsoft to its current status: a company that is living on its legacy products with nothing new to move their earnings needle.
post #76 of 196
Well, I never in my wildest dreams imagined anyone could actually make Ballmer appear smart, but then along comes Mundie.

No, that's too strong.

They're both idiots.

When are the Non Executive Directors at Microsoft going to do something to protect the long-suffering shareholders? Like booting out this crowd of buffoons and getting some real talent into place.

Just for one moment imagine these clowns had been working at Apple, and Clown 1 tells Steve Jobs "There is no chance the iPhone will get any significant market share. No chance."

Then Clown 2 pipes up and tells Steve "Tablets have no future."

They would both have been out the door in a New York second with Steve's boot up their arses.
post #77 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by John H View Post

Agreed! It is this lack of vision and poor execution that has taken Microsoft to its current status: a company that is living on its legacy products with nothing new to move their earnings needle.

I don't care about earnings, and unless you're a shareholder, I don't know why you would either.

However, over the past few years Microsoft has released some awesome products, many of which were innovative, and most of which were very good executions:

Windows 7
Office 2010
Windows Phone 7 (they could easily have copied iPhone/Android, but chose to make a truly unique mobile OS)
Xbox 360
Kinect
Zune
post #78 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Microsoft spends a lot on research, and thankfully for us they occasionally let us see what they are working on. I'll take that any day over the secrecy there is at Apple, but I'd also bet that there at least as many abandoned projects in Cupertino as well. Just because we don't get to see them doesn't mean that they don't exist.

Except what does Microsoft's occasional fake product videos do for anyone? The Courier thing had MS fanboys swooning with glee, absolutely certain that Redmond had done an end-run around Apple and preempted the entire tablet market in one stroke of genius. But it wasn't anything. It doesn't lead to anything. It doesn't make our tech lives any better or more interesting. Ditto Origami, Spot, and Surface. They mean nothing.

Why on earth is that more gratifying to you than Apple's "secrecy"? Don't you find a shipping product more engaging than speculation? If I want speculation I can read any number of talented sci-fi writers and futurists. From large technology companies I look for actual products.
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post #79 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Dell, HP, MS and Sony should stop all execs commenting on anything! Sheez!

Add Samsung to the list
post #80 of 196
This is just the tremblings of a MS on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

The tablet PC was Gates' one special baby. And Apple ran with it & left MS as a complete non-player.

I'd almost feel pity for the Redmondites, daydreaming at Mt. Rainier and wondering why they can't succeed at anything besides Office licensing.
Or I would if they weren't Microsoft.
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