Microsoft may have done something right

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft has made some pretty big mistakes with Windows Vista and with WiMo. Boy, talk about a wasted opportunity and resources on WiMo. With virtually no competition in the late 90s, they could have owned the entire smartphone market. I don't know if it's Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer's fault, but I doubt their situation will get any better with Ballmer running things.



Anyway, I recently came across a video showing a tablet device from Microsoft demoing how it would work:



http://www.alltabletnews.com/2009/12...-nice-concept/



I had heard that MS was coming out with a tablet, but would roll my eyes whenever I heard this. I kept thinking that there's no way they will be able to compete against the Apple Tablet. And the same goes for the JooJoo/Crunchpad and all the other wannabees. But after seeing the MS demo, I gotta say that I am very impressed. Not only did they show a very slick demonstration, but they seem to have gotten the scope and utility of the device right. They are not promoting this as a multimedia, reading, and web-surfing device. Instead, it will be a note-pad type companion that will help you plan your day and allow you to take notes. I'm sure it will also be able to do all of the multimedia things as well, but that's not their main focus. They are obviously targeting this for working people. And I may be sorely tempted to get one as I can make use of it at work. I often carry around a real notepad/book and this would be great. Of course, it would have to be very durable (I'm used to tossing things around in my car) and needs to have a very long battery life.



There are other devices with a similar look, but they don't seem to be as well focused or developed:



http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/16/e...usty-hands-on/

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,180moderator
    While I think the concept is decent, having reduced media and web functionality due to the paper-notebook form factor. The dual display idea is good but I think it would be better if they could make the center hinge so small that it folded out into a larger display for watching movies and for web browsing.



    The problem is that two small 10" screens don't fold out to a 16:9 aspect ratio unless they are almost square. You can manage 8" x 6" screens (10" diagonal), which are 4:3 aspect and they fold out to a 3:2 13" screen, which would manage 1280 x 853 i.e 720p + some space for controls.



    The individual screens would be 853 x 640.



    Having two 10" capacitive screens might be expensive but possibly less than a larger one and you get the convenience of being able to protect the screens by closing it while also being able to open it fully to experience a 720p movie on a 13" screen. The split down the middle would likely annoy some people though.



    Given the choice between a 12"-15" slate like the JooJoo or NVidia's prototype and Microsoft's Courier concept, I'd personally rather have the large screen if they couldn't build a suitable fold-out one with a near invisible seam.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    This was discussed at length quite a while ago. A rendered video of a hardware concept doesn't mean much, IMO, especially coming from MS. My impression is that the video is just an in-house compendium of design ideas and that at best we'll see some aspects of such a device incorporated into mainstream MS products. It's just that MS likes to float these things around to keep competitors guessing, unlike Apple which keeps everything very close to their vest.



    It would be completely out of character for MS to release a piece of hardware that actually breaks with established paradigms. They know their customer base.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    And their customer base knows them.



    To release a product like this (even assuming they could solve the technical problems), Microsoft faces a divide that so far they have not been willing to cross: completely abandoning the existing Windows software base to try something completely fresh and new. Apple did this successfully with the iPhone but I think culturally Microsoft would have tremendous difficulty taking such a risky gamble.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    And their customer base knows them.



    To release a product like this (even assuming they could solve the technical problems), Microsoft faces a divide that so far they have not been willing to cross: completely abandoning the existing Windows software base to try something completely fresh and new. Apple did this successfully with the iPhone but I think culturally Microsoft would have tremendous difficulty taking such a risky gamble.



    You mean like the XBox? WinMo is also about as different from Windows as the iPhone OSX is from the Mac OSX. Plus they supported tablets first, which was a non-standard paradigm and is leading multitouch on the desktop.



    It's a concept video and as a product Courier may never be made but those concepts are likely to end up in Windows itself. MS has a fairly nice multi-touch SDK and they've got a nice setup with WPF making it easy to enable multitouch in windows apps.



    Besides, it's not all that ambitious. Not nearly as ambitious as the Starfire and Apple Knowledge Navigator concept films.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    You mean like the XBox? WinMo is also about as different from Windows as the iPhone OSX is from the Mac OSX. Plus they supported tablets first, which was a non-standard paradigm and is leading multitouch on the desktop.



    It's a concept video and as a product Courier may never be made but those concepts are likely to end up in Windows itself. MS has a fairly nice multi-touch SDK and they've got a nice setup with WPF making it easy to enable multitouch in windows apps.



    Besides, it's not all that ambitious. Not nearly as ambitious as the Starfire and Apple Knowledge Navigator concept films.



    I take your point, but the problem with the Xbox example is that this product hasn't become a net profit-maker for Microsoft after years of sunk costs. I suspect that this experience weighs heavily on the decision-makers in Redmond. Their tablet effort (by which I assume you mean Origami) was not only an abject failure, but was also an effort to shoehorn Windows into a different form-factor. What Microsoft knows best is leveraging Windows. They see this as their trump card, which in fact it is. I suspect not playing it is difficult for them to justify internally, and not any less so due to their experience with Xbox, but I would say even more so.



    Not sure why you bring up a long-dead concept like Knowledge Navigator. That only goes to show how more difficult it is to realize than to conceptualize.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    To be honest, there isn't much known about either the Apple Tablet or this Microsoft Tablet, other than speculation (and with the Apple Tablet, it isn't even completely known whether it exists or not), so it's almost impossible to compare the two.
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