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PC makers hint at feelings of 'betrayal' over Microsoft's Surface tablet

post #1 of 177
Thread Starter 
Some within the PC industry are experiencing a "sense of betrayal" over the secrecy behind Microsoft's recently-unveiled Surface tablet, which will compete directly with Windows licensees, a new report claims.

Microsoft held a media event on Monday to take the wraps off its Surface Windows 8 tablet, which will come in both ARM and Intel versions. CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview after the event that Microsoft's PC partners knew about Microsoft's announcement in advance.

A new report from Reuters claims that, according to industry sources, Microsoft's closest partners were provided with only vague details just three days before the unveiling. Insiders said Windows boss Steven Sinofsky made some calls to partners last Friday but didn't provide the name or specifications of the Surface.

"As such, Microsoft's main partners remained "in wait-and-see" mode and had to monitor the news for details, one of the sources said," the report noted.

Some of the Windows maker's largest vendors appear to have been left out of the loop. Sources from Acer and Asus told the publication that the news conference was the "first they had heard" of the project.

Surface 2
Source: Microsoft


No senior executives heard about the news last week," an Acer executive said, noting that the company is still seeking details. "We're quite surprised."

Though Microsoft went out of its way to highlight its long history of hardware innovation with peripherals such as the mouse, the company has largely been content to build software and let vendors worry about the hardware.

Early indications suggest that Microsoft's decision to build its own tablet could damage its relationships with partners. One industry source said that partners who weren't informed of Microsoft's plans ahead of time are now feeling a "sense of betrayal."

"This has always been a point of contention between OEMs and Microsoft -- Microsoft getting into the hardware space," said another tipster.



Ovum analyst Jan Dawson told Reuters Microsoft's Surface tablet represents a "huge vote of no confidence" in its OEM partners and added that those partners are right to "feel slighted."

Some partners declined to comment for the article, although PC makers Dell and Lenovo both voiced continued commitment to Microsoft as a valuable partner. However, an executive at a Chinese handset maker spoke off the record to say that Microsoft should "leave its partners to make the hardware."

Beyond mitigating any backlash from this week's preview, Microsoft may have a delicate situation on its hands when it goes to price its tablets in coming months. One analyst said on Tuesday that Microsoft will need to undercut the iPad's price to stand a chance of competing with Apple, but doing so could infuriate other tablet makers whose costs are higher because they must pay Windows licensing fees to Microsoft.

If a recent report is to be believed, hardware makers may have more to complain about in coming weeks. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday corroborated rumors that Google will soon release a Android tablet that it reportedly co-developed with Asus.
post #2 of 177
Quote:
although PC makers Dell and Lenovo both voiced continued commitment to Microsoft as a valuable partner.

What are they going to do?! Develop their own desktop OS? Not going to happen. MS can start their own PC hardware and no one can do anything. All they can do is pay to get Window on their PCs and accept it.
post #3 of 177

I watched the keynote video. It was incredibly sad, and pathetic. There were constant veiled references to the iPad, I laughed when Ballmer talked about the innovation Microsloth has done in the past few years. There was virtually no actual demonstrations of the surface itself. They spent almost all the time talking about the physical characteristics of the unit. "It is only _____ mm wide!" "It has a professionally designed kick stand that goes away." "Look at this venting." 

 

They just don't get it. They still think in terms of a desktop unit. The thing (according to M$),  is a small PC with a keyboard. And what a keyboard! Holy copy of the Apple smart cover! I couldn't believe it. If I want a tablet, I don't want to type on a stupid pliable keyboard. Why the hell would I want a trackpad, when the entire glass surface is  trackpad! 

 

The video about how they built it. "Wow, this is really hard!" It seemed to convey the image that they had never designed any hardware before.

 

The entire setting seemed contrived too. How many people were there, 20, 30? It didn't appear to be that many more than that, and it was obvious there were ringers in the audience. The name of the case, vapourware! Too funny!  

 

No release date, no real details. It was just so sad.  


Edited by Maecvs - 6/19/12 at 11:48pm
post #4 of 177

This reminds me of when Google decided to buy Motorola. At least they called all of their hardware partners before breaking the story to the press, in order to coordinate the eerily-similar-sounding press releases from all of its hardware partners.

 

Sounds like Microsoft didn't bother to call some of their OEMs. Ouch indeed.

 

And c'mon, what's Michael Dell going to do? Bite the hand that feeds?

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post #5 of 177

The PC platform, as we know it, is dead.

post #6 of 177

Chickens coming home to roost at Redmond. 

 

It's almost impossible to compete with Apple on price unless you cut a lot of corners - Apple buys very right and in large quantity and far enough ahead to buy up the bulk of production of the best manufacturers of the strategic components. Everyone else buys short production runs. Even Microsoft hasn't placed their orders for components for products they want to ship yet this year. I can't see how they intend to fulfill any large need, if it should come about? 

 

Meanwhile Apple is stockpiling components for their expected September iPhone release. Also, circa September, Apple will be announcing 200 software additions to the iPad, this is like announcing a new iPad (which may get a price drop, for extra effect). Apple could totally break up the Windows 8 Surface by drowning it out with iPad, iPhone, and new OS attention. 

 

Meanwhile the Windows and Android OEMs are sharpening their knives... and not for Apple.

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post #7 of 177
Why is MS releasing it with two architectures? I expect this to cause confusion, and prevent MS from focusing on their x86 software ecosystem's incredible strength. I also expect it to cause buyer's remorse for those who purchase the ARM version (for less $) when they realize that the media-centric tablet world belongs to the iPad. However, the x86 version could be a real winner. It would qualify as an "Ultra-Ultrabook" with a keyboard cover, and float onto the scene with the same software capabilities as the 80%+ of the rest of the world. If it has the following I would buy it 1080p or 1920x1200 mid+ i7 8GB+ external graphics 1080p+ 2 lbs. or less MS needs to buy some industrial design talent, because aside from the keyboard it is fugly!
post #8 of 177

My advice to PC makers (because they care about what I think lol) is - stay the course, you'll have the last laugh on Microsoft.  You'll pick up the wreckage that the surface will become and hopefully learn from mistakes made.

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post #9 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

The PC platform, as we know it, is dead.

 

Haha - good one! NOT
post #10 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post

I watched the keynote video. It was incredibly sad, and pathetic. There were constant veiled references to the iPad, I laughed when Ballmer talked about the innovation Microsloth has done in the past few years. There was virtually no actual demonstrations of the surface itself. They spent almost all the time talking about the physical characteristics of the unit. "It is only _____ mm wide!" "It has a professionally designed kick stand that goes away." "Look at this venting." 

  

 

As I mentioned before, Microsoft wants you to think they sweat the details like a certain (anonymous) company in Cupertino, but one thing they can't say is that Windows 8 was tailor made for this machine. They can never say that, or even act on that impulse without drawing major ire from their hardware partners. That makes this just another PC, shaped to look like a tablet.

 

It might fool the impressionable Windows fans, who can be forgiven for being as ignorant (or as in denial) of the post-PC era as Steve Ballmer is. The rest of us know better. It's happening right now.

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post #11 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

As I mentioned before, Microsoft wants you to think they sweat the details like a certain (anonymous) company in Cupertino, but one thing they can't say is that Windows 8 was tailor made for this machine. They can never say that, or even act on that impulse without drawing major ire from their hardware partners. That makes this just another PC, shaped to look like a tablet.

 

It might fool the impressionable Windows fans, who can be forgiven for being as ignorant (or as in denial) of the post-PC era as Steve Ballmer is. The rest of us know better. It's happening right now.

 

You're absolutely right. The post PC era is already well underway, yet monkey boy is completely oblivious. This product clearly demonstrates this.   

post #12 of 177

Chrome OS is still an infant (and web-only at present) but, say what you like about their scruples, Google is much, much smarter than MS. If it's in their interests to develop a full PC OS they can and will. Remember Netscape Constellation? It was headed off and killed by MS but Mr Gates was in charge of things then.  

post #13 of 177

If the OEMs / PC makers actually did a decent job making good hardware that didn't break every 6 months, then maybe MS wouldn't of had to step in. Fact is Apple is kicking butt and half baked solutions aren't going to work. Name one desktop Windows PC maker that provides quality hardware and software integration - it's zero. Samsung is the closest but they're banking on Android. 

 

I'm actually interested in Surface - I don't want to buy a PC with Windows on it, but I can definitely adopt an additional tablet, assuming the price point is actually reasonable. 

post #14 of 177

I don't see the problem. Windows 8 has been know for a long period. It has been known that it supports touch. Any PC-maker has had a long time to prepare itself for creating their own hardware. If they are not already in the making of doing such then Microsoft did a good job solving it by itself.

 

Any PC-maker should be able to create a better device than Microsoft. That is a good thing. Microsoft is doing the same as Google. Releasing one "reference" machine so that other hardware makers can easily create variants upon that.

 

The funny thing is where Microsoft succeded here - people are comparing the device with iPad AND desktop machines AND laptops. I would not say that it is a direct threat towards iPad but a very natural step for a family that already have Windows at home and want to get a new PC and cannot decide if they should by a laptop or tablet.

post #15 of 177

And pricing strategy. This is the best part. By not releasing any price they are not closing any doors. A lot of things can happen in 6 months. As they collaborate with many manufacturers on other things they can synchronize the release with any Dell product for example and together make a pricing that fits both depending on the features on board.

 

Also, the final hardware specification is probably not set. There may be a newer chipset. There may be lack of liquid metal :)

post #16 of 177
PC makers hint at feelings of 'betrayal' over Microsoft's Surface tablet
 
Too bad, baby.
 
Business.
Is.
War.
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post #17 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

The PC platform, as we know it, is dead.

Did this really happen? Did Microsoft just leave the truck by the side of the road?

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post #18 of 177

Microsoft's "partners" are going to be so upset they're going to... keep using windows.

post #19 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post

I watched the keynote video. It was incredibly sad, and pathetic. There were constant veiled references to the iPad, I laughed when Ballmer talked about the innovation Microsloth has done in the past few years. There was virtually no actual demonstrations of the surface itself. They spent almost all the time talking about the physical characteristics of the unit. "It is only _____ mm wide!" "It has a professionally designed kick stand that goes away." "Look at this venting." 

 

They just don't get it. They still think in terms of a desktop unit. The thing (according to M$),  is a small PC with a keyboard. And what a keyboard! Holy copy of the Apple smart cover! I couldn't believe it. If I want a tablet, I don't want to type on a stupid pliable keyboard. Why the hell would I want a trackpad, when the entire glass surface is  trackpad! 

 

The video about how they built it. "Wow, this is really hard!" It seemed to convey the image that they had never designed any hardware before.

 

The entire setting seemed contrived too. How many people were there, 20, 30? It didn't appear to be that many more than that, and it was obvious there were ringers in the audience. The name of the case, vapourware! Too funny!  

 

No release date, no real details. It was just so sad.  

I agree with a lot of your take but I have to say using "M$" is so incredibly lame....as if Apple isn't out to make a buck too.  C'mon now, that's silly.  ;)

 

I think the Surface is somewhat intriguing.  I doubt I would buy one but I can see it finding a space in the market with some folks.  The more competition the merrier imo.

post #20 of 177
If there are 5 OEMs planning to sell Windows 8 tablets in the Fall… now there will be 6

If the OEMs are worried about an additional competitor… then they better step up their game.

Every PC manufacturer already fights for relevance in this crowded market… this is no different.

Maybe this will light a fire under their ass to make better products.
post #21 of 177

So Ballmer thinks he can get close to Apple's success by copying the jerk side of the Jobs persona. There's also the perfectionism, the sense of style and the ability to get the best out of people.

 

I don't understand why the media have been so conned into reporting this as the product that will knock down the iPad. That story has been done so often it's become ridiculous. The only thing Microsoft adds to the game is some hardware innovation that no one really wants.

 

What they still don't get about the Jobs story is the big breakthroughs happen when you don't listen to your customers. I bet this thing was designed based on focus groups who said “if only we could get a tablet that worked just like a desktop machine.” Guess what? The same people in those focus groups won't buy one, any more than people in 1900, asked what an automobile should be like, and who asked for it to have a horse manure scoop, would buy it for that feature.

 

Tablets with keyboards have been done, and failed. Doing the keyboard better in some way (thinner, possible to ignore because it's a semi-rigid dust cover you can't fold out of the way) doesn't fix that.

 

I've been wrong before but not as often as the journalists who've reported yet another iPad killer. Time will tell.

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post #22 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Quote:
although PC makers Dell and Lenovo both voiced continued commitment to Microsoft as a valuable partner.
What are they going to do?! Develop their own desktop OS? Not going to happen. MS can start their own PC hardware and no one can do anything. All they can do is pay to get Window on their PCs and accept it.

 

Well I don't think Microsoft has much choice either -- to be honest. This is the RIGHT MOVE for them. The only way they can compete with the iPad is to create the same vertical market. To procure the materials, to have the hardware eke out all the processing it can per watt -- they have to create a flawless widget like the iPad and that means marrying software and hardware and probably throwing away screws.

 

Vendors are just going to HAVE to find a new business model - this day was going to happen. They can push Google to make an Android-like tablet OS (oh, they did already?) and compete on price. They can start bundling their laptops and PCs with some flavor of LINUX.

 

But don't be surprised. Don't act like Microsoft was ever your friend and now you feel hurt. Apple forced them into this. And Microsoft's own market manipulation and bundling forced Apple to do what it did.

 

If Microsoft doesn't also make this interact with the XBox games and content -- they've dropped the ball. They certainly can't use Windows 8 or Microsoft Office to entice users -- heck, I've moved back to Office 2007 and it felt like a damn upgrade. That "office bundle" ship has sailed -- or that turnip got all the blood squeezed out of it -- whatever you want to call it.

 

Intuitive, personal, appliance-like devices that don't anchor people down nor waste their time is going to be the bulk of the market -- and Microsoft, Google and Apple all know this. The rest of the manufacturers need to find an alternative that doesn't depend on these three's coat tails any more.

post #23 of 177
Awwww poor poor PC makers. They've been raking in millions riding the back of MS for decades and now they're going to have to do something to differentiate themselves. So sad. What will they do?

Did any of these PC makers have brand loyal customers? Nope. Does anybody care about the brand of their computer, other than Apple customers? Nope. Microsoft is making their only move for survival. Watch for google to do the same. The PC makers are going away. Soon there will be three.
post #24 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

If there are 5 OEMs planning to sell Windows 8 tablets in the Fall… now there will be 6
If the OEMs are worried about an additional competitor… then they better step up their game.
Every PC manufacturer already fights for relevance in this crowded market… this is no different.
Maybe this will light a fire under their ass to make better products.

 

 

That's basically what I was going to say. MS's 'partners' shouldn't be whining. They should be excited at the opportunity to innovate and perhaps beat MS at their own game.

 

On a related note... The Surface is a goofy name. It implies that there's nothing deep with this thing. It's just a shallow product with a cool hued soft keyboard. Even Windows 8 is surface only. Once you click out of that main window, you're in...old windows. At least as far as I understand it. People have described it as schizophrenic.

 

I don't think this is going to dent the iPad. I think Google's offering is more interesting. That's what MS is going to compete with. Someone else with the financial heft and DNA that appreciates cheap pricing and can thrive in that environment.

post #25 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

So Ballmer thinks he can get close to Apple's success by copying the jerk side of the Jobs persona. There's also the perfectionism, the sense of style and the ability to get the best out of people.

 

I don't understand why the media have been so conned into reporting this as the product that will knock down the iPad. That story has been done so often it's become ridiculous. The only thing Microsoft adds to the game is some hardware innovation that no one really wants.

...

 

"...why the media have been so conned into reporting this as the product that will knock down the iPad."?

 

I don't think the media has been conned -- the media is driven by what has always driven the media; Microsoft advertising dollars. More ads means a pile of steaming horse manure becomes the next breath through product. Look at any magazine that covers a product -- say Bicycling. Those articles won't cover the super cool new way to move people along the ground that IS NOT one of the advertisers. The don't randomly select interesting stories about bikes -- they find interesting stories that relate to the bikes that just so happen to be sold by their advertisers.

 

Often the best news is low coverage of bad news - and advertising is like a protection racket. The reason your local news only covers auto repair ripoffs and city workers sleeping on the job is because their bread is buttered by the large chemical manufacturer who just had a spill in the river that they didn't seem to cover.

 

MS spends advertising dollars. The surface however might be awesome -- but that's totally independent of what drives the good press in most heavily ad-funded magazines. Blogs on the other hand often don't have that kind of corrupting money creeping in.

post #26 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

If there are 5 OEMs planning to sell Windows 8 tablets in the Fall… now there will be 6
If the OEMs are worried about an additional competitor… then they better step up their game.
Every PC manufacturer already fights for relevance in this crowded market… this is no different.
Maybe this will light a fire under their ass to make better products.

 

The thing is, one OEM gets a $85 discount on the OS.  That amounts to about a 10-20% discount on a $500-$1000 device, which is a huge amount of money.  That's money Microsoft can use to give it a better case, and a nicer screen, maybe a larger battery.

 

So, just to match Microsoft's offering, other OEMs have to really squeeze the supply chain or sell for no profit [while MS makes a profit both on their own tablets AND all the OEMs]. And then, as icing on the cake, Microsoft makes extra money selling apps and content for the tablets.  And their tablets can have no-charge updates, so match what Apple does, while other OEMs can't afford to update older models...because they made no money on them...

 

Never mind that it also gives the MS hardware group a huge advantage over other OEMs for getting all the bugs fixed.

 

Has anybody done this kind of thing successfully in the past [as in both created their own software/hardware and licensed the software to others to make competing products].  It was a train wreck when Apple did it with PowerPC clones, and PalmOS licensing really went nowhere...and that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

post #27 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

The thing is, one OEM gets a $85 discount on the OS.  That amounts to about a 10-20% discount on a $500-$1000 device, which is a huge amount of money.  That's money Microsoft can use to give it a better case, and a nicer screen, maybe a larger battery.

So, just to match Microsoft's offering, other OEMs have to really squeeze the supply chain or sell for no profit [while MS makes a profit both on their own tablets AND all the OEMs]. And then, as icing on the cake, Microsoft makes extra money selling apps and content for the tablets.  And their tablets can have no-charge updates, so match what Apple does, while other OEMs can't afford to update older models...because they made no money on them...

Never mind that it also gives the MS hardware group a huge advantage over other OEMs for getting all the bugs fixed.

Has anybody done this kind of thing successfully in the past [as in both created their own software/hardware and licensed the software to others to make competing products].  It was a train wreck when Apple did it with PowerPC clones, and PalmOS licensing really went nowhere...and that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

I don't think that's MS's goal here. They aren't saying "Hey, this tablet market is really profitable we need to make our own." they are saying "Hey, this tablet market is excluding Windows completely we need to make our own." The difference being that MS goal isn't trying to undercut their vendors but trying to cut a path that will allow their vendors to have a healthy future in buying Windows OEMs for the tablet market.

Remember when MS hired Creative to design the Zune HW and they dropped all their Play4Sure partners? That was a last ditch effort to gain relevancy in the PMP market. It failed miserably. This is much the same motive but in their defense they are taking a new approach which I think has a marginally better chance of succeeding.

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post #28 of 177

That surface has fail written all over it. The well paid reviewers giving that non-demonstrate product high praise are pathetic.

Steve Ballmer can wipe his butt after a number two, show the pro MS trolls his doo doo and they'd write about how goddamn innovative and game changing  that blood and feces soaked piece of toilet paper is.

post #29 of 177

Seems to me only a matter of time now before MS buys out Nokia and uses that acquisition to leverage its hardware manufacturing ability. They've seen the success of Apple and, although it's taken a long time, they've worked out that doing the software while leaving the hardware to other people (Apple did this, before SJ canned that strategy on his return) isn't a good way to maintain control over your products.

 

Whether MS is canny enough to do this, I don't know, but they *could* do an Apple and end up manufacturing PCs, tablets, phones, laptops that all run their own OS and they *could* do it well (in that it's possible) but I have no doubt at all in my mind that it won't be Ballmer that is in charge of this. His stewardship of the company is, to me, characterised by drift, muddle-headed decision making and complacence. If Ballmer goes and they put a charismatic visionary perfectionist in his place, then potentially they'll survive the 'IBM syndrome' whereby they turn into an irrelevance as the world moves past them.  Left as they are, they'll just have two main areas: staid, boring but dependable enterprise software (because their installed base is huge and is, essentially, a cash cow) and Xbox (a rare flash of excitement).

 

While I am a dedicated Apple user, I want to see other parts of the tech industry match Apple's standards, because it's good for everyone - Apple included, since it will keep them on their toes and ahead of everyone else. And that is good for us because we'll continue to get the best. If MS fails and recedes into boring irrelevance then technological stagnation will eventually afflict Apple as well. Apple needs a vigorous MS. We need a vigorous and forward thinking MS, even if we don't use their products.

post #30 of 177

So Microsoft is more and more becoming like Apple in business strategy. Next they buy Nokia.

Google is becoming more and more like Apple, buying Motorola Mobile for their own hardware, leaving the crumbs to the "Open" platform partners. Samsung will be the only company to profit from Android.

 

How should I view the pundits that said Apple needs to open up and be more like Microsoft? Be more like Google?

post #31 of 177

I do like the new Microsoft. It's like they are saying, the PC makers are stupid. They are not able to make a good Windows tablet and give consumers the experience we want. Up theirs and we do our own. That's Apple-like.

 

Of course, that they do their own hardware is also because of the Android platform. Most manufacturers are creating Android stuff. How can MS compete against a "free and open" platform? They need to push the Windows brand. Look at the Surface. There are Windows logos on it, not Microsoft logo. They need to push Windows against Android.

post #32 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

The PC platform, as we know it, is dead.

Dying... but not dead.  Remember that sales growth (in percent) of Macs are triple the industry average overall without such growth the PC industry would be shrinking.

 

It's hardly dead.

 

 

 

Microsoft thinks they can make the PC experience continue through their Intel-based tablet.  People have commented how MS didn't demonstrate how to USE the tablet, and THAT is the key to success.  People USE their iPads (unless millions of them are sitting in drawers after being sold).  Will people USE the INTEL tablet or will they just say MEH and stick to laptops (Apple laptops, at that).

 

I'm not going to pass judgement on judgement, but I'm not so sure MS has a hit on their hands or a flop.  I know what I want it to be.

post #33 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post

I watched the keynote video. It was incredibly sad, and pathetic. There were constant veiled references to the iPad, I laughed when Ballmer talked about the innovation Microsloth has done in the past few years. There was virtually no actual demonstrations of the surface itself. They spent almost all the time talking about the physical characteristics of the unit. "It is only _____ mm wide!" "It has a professionally designed kick stand that goes away." "Look at this venting." 

 

They just don't get it. They still think in terms of a desktop unit. The thing (according to M$),  is a small PC with a keyboard. And what a keyboard! Holy copy of the Apple smart cover! I couldn't believe it. If I want a tablet, I don't want to type on a stupid pliable keyboard. Why the hell would I want a trackpad, when the entire glass surface is  trackpad! 

 

The video about how they built it. "Wow, this is really hard!" It seemed to convey the image that they had never designed any hardware before.

 

The entire setting seemed contrived too. How many people were there, 20, 30? It didn't appear to be that many more than that, and it was obvious there were ringers in the audience. The name of the case, vapourware! Too funny!  

 

No release date, no real details. It was just so sad.  

I am surprised Microsoft could actually discuss this for over 46 minutes. If I were in the audience, I would probably have to be ushered out from laughing too loudly.  Ballmer is so full of #*$&.  Their whole company is based on leaving the hardware design left to their OEM partners, yet they are NOW realizing that better products are made better if the OS company designed the entire product themselves.   I actually envision OEM partners suing Microsoft for selling a competing when Microsoft doesn't pay for the OS.   WOW, a 22 degree bevel and less than 1 inch thick! HAHAHA.

 

LIquid metal magnesium case?  Um, ALL metal becomes liquid when you heat to the melting temperature so that it can be casted into a mold.  PVD coating has been around for YEARS and it a coating process not a case mfg process.  I was cracking up when the presenter couldn't get the first one to work. HAHA.  THIS HAS TO BE A JOKE.

post #34 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

So Ballmer thinks he can get close to Apple's success by copying the jerk side of the Jobs persona. There's also the perfectionism, the sense of style and the ability to get the best out of people.

 

I don't understand why the media have been so conned into reporting this as the product that will knock down the iPad. That story has been done so often it's become ridiculous. The only thing Microsoft adds to the game is some hardware innovation that no one really wants.

 

What they still don't get about the Jobs story is the big breakthroughs happen when you don't listen to your customers. I bet this thing was designed based on focus groups who said “if only we could get a tablet that worked just like a desktop machine.” Guess what? The same people in those focus groups won't buy one, any more than people in 1900, asked what an automobile should be like, and who asked for it to have a horse manure scoop, would buy it for that feature.

 

Tablets with keyboards have been done, and failed. Doing the keyboard better in some way (thinner, possible to ignore because it's a semi-rigid dust cover you can't fold out of the way) doesn't fix that.

 

I've been wrong before but not as often as the journalists who've reported yet another iPad killer. Time will tell.


+1 - Well said!

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post #35 of 177

In my opinion, while there will certainly be some takers, as we've seen with the WebOS tablet and RIM Playbook, ultimately there is no commitment from the hardware vendor to continue the product. This is what investors see. This is why RIM and Nokia have been tanking in the mobile phone market. Changing the OS inside a device with no backwards compatibility is suicide.

 

When Apple switched from 68K to PPC, OS 8 to OS X,  PPC to Intel, and forked iOS from OSX onto ARM, there was always some backwards compatibility mechanism to run old software on new devices. Software written for iOS still works on the current iOS, and likewise software written for the PPC can still run on the current OS X if you have Rosetta installed. 

 

Microsoft is not as good at this, at best you might get old software to work by bypassing security restrictions, at worst, it doesn't run at all. Other versions of Windows, PPC/Alpha (Windows NT 3.5/4.0 era) don't run x86 binaries. However this problem also exists on the Windows CE platform which intially had MIPS and ARM, but no version Windows CE works with any other version. Anytime you upgrade the device, you had to buy new versions of software or dump it. This problem continues into the Windows Phone platform.

 

The only hardware product that Microsoft produces that's any good is the Xbox 360,but it took them 6 revisions of the hardware over 6 years (Xbox 360 S) to get it to that stage. They entered a competative field that only had 2 players (Nintendo and Sony) and aimed at the middle.

 

So I have reason enough to think that unless the Microsoft tablets are in the 300$ range or have 5 year warranties, it will fail spectacularly. I don't trust that Microsoft can engineer a device that won't have the kinds of issues the Xbox 360 has, and since they're entering a market with only one major player (Apple) and a handful of minor players (Samsung/Android) they have some chance of success.

post #36 of 177

I can't wait for the photos of Steve Balmer in a giant yellow outfit touring a factory in China waving at workers making the MS zune tablet.

post #37 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzos View Post

Chrome OS is still an infant (and web-only at present) but, say what you like about their scruples, Google is much, much smarter than MS. If it's in their interests to develop a full PC OS they can and will. Remember Netscape Constellation? It was headed off and killed by MS but Mr Gates was in charge of things then.  

That was my thought too. Google must be now thinking a free OS for PCs would be just the ticket. All they have to do is rip of Windows 7 and give it away for free. Dell et al would be all over it as an option at first then their main OS. Heck if Google can rip off iOS that fast they can probably make a pretty decent copy of 7 and in fact probably make it far better. I suggest 7 as the most likely OS to succeed as a copy since it is really a working XP and what most PC users feel most comfortable with.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #38 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by superdx View Post

If the OEMs / PC makers actually did a decent job making good hardware that didn't break every 6 months, then maybe MS wouldn't of had to step in.

 

*COUGH* Red ring of death *COUGH* 

 

I wouldn't hold up MS as a bastion of high quality hardware.  The Intellimouse Explorer was great tho.

post #39 of 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post

I watched the keynote video. It was incredibly sad, and pathetic. There were constant veiled references to the iPad, I laughed when Ballmer talked about the innovation Microsloth has done in the past few years. There was virtually no actual demonstrations of the surface itself. They spent almost all the time talking about the physical characteristics of the unit. "It is only _____ mm wide!" "It has a professionally designed kick stand that goes away." "Look at this venting." 

They just don't get it. They still think in terms of a desktop unit. The thing (according to M$),  is a small PC with a keyboard. And what a keyboard! Holy copy of the Apple smart cover! I couldn't believe it. If I want a tablet, I don't want to type on a stupid pliable keyboard. Why the hell would I want a trackpad, when the entire glass surface is  trackpad! 

The video about how they built it. "Wow, this is really hard!" It seemed to convey the image that they had never designed any hardware before.

The entire setting seemed contrived too. How many people were there, 20, 30? It didn't appear to be that many more than that, and it was obvious there were ringers in the audience. The name of the case, vapourware! Too funny!  

No release date, no real details. It was just so sad.  
Ah but don't you know this makes Apple's smart cover look dumb now. /s Interesing though that they didn't let the invited media type on any of these touch covers/keyboards. Or pull up any apps, like say Word or Excel on the device. And if this touch cover is soft like Apple's smart cover how in the world will you type on it if your not using it on a flat, hard surface. If someone presented this keyboard cover to Jony Ive it probably wouldn't take him long to reject it as a gimmick. lol.gif
post #40 of 177
Anybody can wow people with a new tablet when you don't give them the price. I've also already seen confusion in the media between the two tablets. The pro model should have used a completely different name.
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