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Microsoft, partners readying iPad mini competitors for later this year

post #1 of 68
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The next few months may see Microsoft taking the fight for the smaller tablet market to Apple, firing back at the iPad mini with one or more similarly-sized devices running some form of Windows.

not the iphone 4s
Microsoft's Surface tablet has so far seen underwhelming sales.


The confirmation came yesterday in the course of the conference call following Microsoft's earnings report. Outgoing chief financial officer Peter Klein tipped the fact that the company has its eye on the smaller tablet market.

"[W]e also are working closely with OEMs on a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows," Klein said. "These devices will have competitive price points, partly enabled by our latest OEM offerings designed specifically for these smaller devices, and will be available in the coming months."

The "competitive price points" Klein refers to are the result of price cuts Microsoft has instituted in light of the faltering PC market and weak demand for the company's newest Windows 8 software. Some observers believe that part of the problem lies in the expensive nature of full-size touchscreen devices, and Microsoft is looking to encourage development of smaller, cheaper devices to grow market share.

That Microsoft has been planning for mid-size Windows 8 devices is no secret. News emerged late in March that the company had changed its hardware certification rules in order to allow devices with resolutions of 1024x768 pixels. Those smaller form factor devices will be missing some features ? including Windows 8's "snap" multitasking ability ? but they may then be able to better compete on price.

What is uncertain is whether Microsoft will be among the manufacturers rolling out Windows-based mini competitors. Klein specifically mentioned OEMs, but recent reports have the Redmond company working on its own 7-inch tablet. Such a device has been rumored since November, with some saying it could be tied in to the next generation of Microsoft's Xbox console.
post #2 of 68

Welcome to the cemetery of iPad killers ....

post #3 of 68
Re: "Those smaller form factor devices will be missing some features %u2014 including Windows 8's "snap" multitasking ability %u2014 but they may then be able to better compete on price. "

But will the Surface mini UI have the "Start" button?
I hear Windows 8.1 will get the "Start" button again.

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post #4 of 68
I suggest a new price point of free. I believe this will drive the growth for which you're looking.

New slogan: Clickity-clack, don't look back!
post #5 of 68

If every other tablet with "competitive pricing" has failed why should anyone believe that this steaming pile will have any different impact? Wasn't the Surface and Surface Pro supposed to have already killed off the iPad since with the Pro we were finally getting the "enterprise-ready" tablet? Also, are you going to be able to clickety-clack your Surface mini while dancing around like an idiot like you could with the original?

post #6 of 68

Because Microsoft's current strategies are working so well... /s

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 68
Will a smaller version make use of the whole screen, showing the tiles from edge to edge? Because I can't figure out why they don't make use of the whole screen. Neither can't the competition, because no one has done this, TTBOMK
“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want.” - Apple 2009
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post #8 of 68

Every new tablet comes only to prove iPad is the King of the Jungle, and to dilute other's market share.

post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

Every new tablet comes only to prove iPad is the King of the Jungle, and to dilute other's market share.

That can't be! The iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have a memory card slot or a real filesystem. /s

post #10 of 68

The Office suite and the Desktop UI is already unusable on a 10inch screen, how come no engineer at Microsoft sees the problem.  Microsoft desperately needs much more work on building their ecosystem before continuing to flood the market with another DOA product like the Zune, WinMo 6.5, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows ReTarde, BOB... 

post #11 of 68
I thought iPad mini went *into* a market full of competitors. Though it's going to take a larger than 8" 16:9 screen to have a similar working screen area.
post #12 of 68

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

Every new tablet comes only to prove iPad is the King of the Jungle, and to dilute other's market share.

That can't be! The iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have a memory card slot or a real filesystem. /s

 

Then, no tablet would have become a hit.  

 

Apple’s decision to hide the iOS file system from iPad (and iPhone) users comforts the non-geek and is consistent with Steve Jobs’ idea that applications such as Mail, iTunes, iPhoto, iCal, and Contacts shouldn’t reveal their files and folders. Under the hood, the application stores its data in the Mac’s file system but, on the surface, the user sees appointments, photo albums and events, mailboxes and messages.

post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

That can't be! The iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have a memory card slot or a real filesystem. /s

I don't get why that's funny, those are still features that a lot of people seek and why a lot of us still prefer Android.

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post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The next few months may see Microsoft taking the fight for the smaller tablet market to Apple, firing back at the iPad mini with one or more similarly-sized devices running some form of Windows.

 

This made me smirk like Dick Cheney... Microsoft isn't taking a fight to anyone, much less Apple. Microsoft reminds me of Charlie Brown taking the fight to his kite and ending up in the last panel totally immobilized by his own kite string... 

 

Oh, and here comes the fourth completely incompatible version of Windows 8 — Joining Windows 8 phone, Windows 8 for expensive laptops and dinosaur desktops, Windows 8 for large clickity-clacky SurfaceRT.

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I don't get why that's funny, those are still features that a lot of people seek and why a lot of us still prefer Android.

It's funny because more and more Android devices are getting rid of the SD card slot too.  Apparently it really isn't as important as the people making the noise would make it seem.  The whiners were telling everyone how the iPad was going to fail because of lack of these features yet none of the tablets with those features can even touch it.


Edited by Applelunatic - 4/19/13 at 12:02pm
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

The Office suite and the Desktop UI is already unusable on a 10inch screen, how come no engineer at Microsoft sees the problem.  Microsoft desperately needs much more work on building their ecosystem before continuing to flood the market with another DOA product like the Zune, WinMo 6.5, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows ReTarde, BOB... 

10 inches is more than usable for the new Office and I absolutely adore my Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2, best tablet I have ever owned. Being able to run full fledged desktop apps on a small tablet is fantastic. Windows RT tablets on the other hand, you have something to criticize about, useless.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

The surface mini is less crappy because it's smaller. Although it's cpi (crap per inch) is the same as the larger surface

Microsoft is making sure that developers don't have to two different CPI values to target when developing apps. They don't want any fragmentation issues.

post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

It's funny because more and more Android devices are getting rid of the SD card slot too.  Apparently it really isn't as important as the people making the noise would make it seem.  The whiners were telling everyone how the iPad was going to fail because of lack of these features yet none of the tablets with those features can even touch it.

As long as there are premium devices that include it though they will always be my device of choice. I'm more interested in the filesystem personally, being able to mount my home and work servers is something I don't want to live without. I have different needs though and I'm clearly the minority as most don't care about such things. I'm just happy there are devices that cater to my needs.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

As long as there are premium devices that include it though they will always be my device of choice. I'm more interested in the filesystem personally, being able to my home and work servers is something I don't want to live without.

Good for you. You're a niche use case.  Even Google thinks the SD card isn't necessary hence why there has never been one in a Nexus device. And the fandroid mantra is that the Nexus devices are the greatest things since sliced bread.

post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

As long as there are premium devices that include it though they will always be my device of choice.

What is your technique for juggling SD cards? Do you carry them all with you all the time? What happens when the one your application needs isn't inserted?

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

What is your technique for juggling SD cards? Do you carry them all with you all the time? What happens when the one your application needs isn't inserted.

Having extra storage still outweighs any little annoyances. I think having to delete files to make room for new ones is a bigger problem for me anyway. 

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post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

Good for you. You're a niche use case.  Even Google thinks the SD card isn't necessary hence why there has never been one in a Nexus device. And the fandroid mantra is that the Nexus devices are the greatest things since sliced bread.

Actually the new Nexus 7 will have one, look it doesn't matter, I like them so I will buy devices that have them. I especially love having one because of my Canon 5D, take pictures then simply plug in the SD into tablet.

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post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

The surface mini is less crappy because it's smaller. Although it's cpi (crap per inch) is the same as the larger surface

Yes, but is it retina-crappy?  So crappy it becomes impossible to distinguish the individual bits of crappiness?

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually the new Nexus 7 will have one

No it won't. And again, great that you'll by an SD card slot device. It's still fun to mock the people who have and still whine about its absence in iPads.

post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanada View Post

The surface mini is less crappy because it's smaller. Although it's cpi (crap per inch) is the same as the larger surface

Is that like saying that stepping in chihuahua crap is less annoying than stepping in German Shepard crap cause its smaller.

Cause for me they both stink
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

If every other tablet with "competitive pricing" has failed why should anyone believe that this steaming pile will have any different impact? Wasn't the Surface and Surface Pro supposed to have already killed off the iPad since with the Pro we were finally getting the "enterprise-ready" tablet? Also, are you going to be able to clickety-clack your Surface mini while dancing around like an idiot like you could with the original?

 

Microsoft surface doesn't actually have "competitive pricing" though.  It is priced competitively (actually just a bit higher) than the average small laptop, but it competes (supposedly) with tablets.  A surface is priced higher than a MacBook Air.  

post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Is that like saying that stepping in chihuahua crap is less annoying than stepping in German Shepard crap cause its smaller.

Cause for me they both stink

Yeah, but with the Mini Surface you'll get to clickity-clack your keyboard and dance around like an idiot. Instead of, you know, using the device.

post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Microsoft surface doesn't actually have "competitive pricing" though.  It is priced competitively (actually just a bit higher) than the average small laptop, but it competes (supposedly) with tablets.  A surface is priced higher than a MacBook Air.  

True, but my comment about "other tablets" were references to the Android tablets that supposedly had the "competitive pricing" to take on the iPad. The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fires were supposed to be such devices. Yet despite some initial hype and fanfare they've mostly been paper tigers.

 

There's no reason to believe that Mini RT tablets will be any less sucky than the Surface.


Edited by Applelunatic - 4/19/13 at 12:40pm
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Having extra storage still outweighs any little annoyances. I think having to delete files to make room for new ones is a bigger problem for me anyway. 

If only someone would invent something where you could store files on something other than the device itself. And then when you wanted, you could sync those files seamlessly across your devices. Even better is if you could stream, for example, your music from the service as well. It's a shame no one has come up with such a solution yet.


Edited by Applelunatic - 4/19/13 at 1:01pm
post #30 of 68

Readying iPad "competitors"? I do not think that word means what they think it means.

post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually the new Nexus 7 will have one, look it doesn't matter, I like them so I will buy devices that have them. I especially love having one because of my Canon 5D, take pictures then simply plug in the SD into tablet.

I'm assuming you mean the Canon 5D Mark III... since that is the only Canon 5D with an SD card slot.

And I'm also assuming you use a MicroSD to SD card adapter... since tablets don't usually have a full-size SD card slot.

I wish more tablets had a regular SD card slot... that would be the easiest. Or you could use WIFI to get images onto the tablet.

Side note... my ultimate dream is to have a tablet with a video-IN port... I'd love to use a tablet as an external monitor for my camcorder.
post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I don't get why that's funny, those are still features that a lot of people seek and why a lot of us still prefer Android.

Then go to an Android site will ya?

post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

What is your technique for juggling SD cards? Do you carry them all with you all the time? What happens when the one your application needs isn't inserted?

That's like saying people have to juggle SD cards in cameras. I don't think they generally do that. It just offers the ability to expand capacity later.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


It just offers the ability to expand capacity later.

Or with a couple of apps you can have 100s of GB of free extra storage and it syncs between all devices without needing to keep track of your SD cards.

post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

Or with a couple of apps you can have 100s of GB of free extra storage and it syncs between all devices without needing to keep track of your SD cards.

Apparently you didn't understand the point of my post. I'll clarify. Just like I bought a camera with 2GB memory card, later, I upgraded to a 32GB memory without replacing the camera... ...or having to saturate my data plan with a tablet example. The old card just stays in a drawer or gets used for some other device.

With my example, there's no "keeping track" of cards, you just upgraded it like upgrading the hard drive in a computer to a bigger one.

The new device model seems to expect owners to replace devices. I really like the camera model, one camera was sold with a 1GB CF card and now I use a 32GB CF card in it. It makes the camera more useful.
Edited by JeffDM - 4/19/13 at 2:31pm
post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Actually the new Nexus 7 will have one, look it doesn't matter, I like them so I will buy devices that have them. I especially love having one because of my Canon 5D, take pictures then simply plug in the SD into tablet.

As a tech geek I do agree USB and SD port on tablet sound essential, but as a tech consultant I've got to realize most users doesn't master their own HD content, Windows UI is notorious for obfuscating the real Filesystem structure to common users with overcrowded start menu. Almost every days I've got to help someone who lost a file on their own computers.  Truth is, the actual desktop computing paradigm is aging fast and is not optimal for mobile and tablet device, Microsoft tried for almost 15 years to bring a Tablet PC, and new Surface iteration still follow the same doomed path. 

 

Apple has paved the way with the iPad, they defined tablet to be likes game console with walled garden and secure and profitable ecosystem for either users and developers. 


Edited by BigMac2 - 4/19/13 at 7:57pm
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

That can't be! The iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have a memory card slot or a real filesystem. /s

 

Not speaking for anyone else, let me put that one to rest by saying this:

 

The iPad is indisputably an overwhelming success.

 

I would like it more if it had a memory card slot and a real file system.

 

How's that? :)

post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

What is your technique for juggling SD cards?

 

Technique? I dunno, similar to the way I keep track of what's on various hard drives around the house I guess. What's to manage?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Do you carry them all with you all the time?

 

I take the one (or two) I might need for any given task or project on any given day.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

What happens when the one your application needs isn't inserted?

 

I insert it.

 

If I don't have the right card with me, I either check if the file I want is on the cloud (if wireless service is available, which it often isn't in my circumstances, hence my desire for removable storage in the first place), or I live without it until I get home, exactly the same way I would WITHOUT removable storage.

 

Obviously your circumstances are such that removable storage is not a value proposition for you. I get that. What I don't get is why you would express animosity towards someone who might like it? Why would you care one way or the other?

post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

If only someone would invent something where you could store files on something other than the device itself. And then when you wanted, you could sync those files seamlessly across your devices. Even better is if you could stream, for example, your music from the service as well. It's a shame no one has come up with such a solution yet.

 

Lemme know how that works out for you on the subway. Or in rural Saskatchewan. Or in my "as bad as a Faraday cage" workplace.

post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Outgoing chief financial officer Peter Klein tipped the fact that the company has its eye on the smaller tablet market.

 

Well, the Microsoft Tablet market can't get much smaller, so he's right on the money.

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