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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer recently said he's not sure that devices like Apple's iPad will last, because he sees the smartphone as the true successor to the traditional PC.



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer later fired back with a different spin on Jobs' analogy: "There may be a reason they call them Mack Trucks," Ballmer said, referring to Apple's Mac line of computers. "But Windows machines are not going to be trucks."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 196
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 196
    Sorry but the need for something bigger that 3.5, 4, and 4.3 inch screen automatically makes you wrong MS. Come out with a tablet and then you can talk.
  • Reply 3 of 196
    Another dumb set of comment from a foolish MS exec. They don't get the market so they just hope they can figure something out. The Kinect is cool, but it's not going to be practical to have the Room be the computer. Not like they are talking about. I'm not sure he even knows what he is talking about.
  • Reply 4 of 196
    And this mentality is why M$ never has been and never will be innovative. They consistently look back rather than forward. They copy rather than create. Windows PCs might still dominate but they will never inspire. Big ideas like "the room is the computer" need a roadmap for taking you there and Apple has a clear roadmap. The iPad and future iterations may be temporary but then, so are smartphones and desktop computers for that matter. There is always something more innovative coming down the pipes. If tablets are still a big part of the tech landscape in 10 years, I will be disappointed. The point is, Apple's iPad, Apple TV, etc. are all part of a greater strategy, and that strategy will evolve over time. The iPad doesn't need to be the future... it just needs to take us there.
  • Reply 5 of 196
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Are they hiring these Microsoft executives to be highly paid navel gazers?



    Even if the iPad turned out to be a fad, they're making a hell of a business around it, AND they've got the high-end smartphone market cornered. Microsoft, you're a ship of fools sinking fast.
  • Reply 6 of 196
    straskstrask Posts: 107member
    If you don't have anything smart to say, don't say anything at all.
  • Reply 7 of 196
    bwinskibwinski Posts: 164member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


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



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



    YEAH addabox.... Mundie and the majority of the Klan at Nokiasoft are so clue-free I'm amazed they even know what a tablet or smartphone looks like..!!!
  • Reply 8 of 196
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BTBlomberg View Post


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



    Mundie hasn't actually ever seen Kinect in action... he just read about it in one of the company reports and thought it sounded cool... then he just went from there after snorting back a couple of lines...
  • Reply 9 of 196
    kazkamkazkam Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


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



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



    ^ This.



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



    Hell, even the Kinect, which he bills as some visionary MS product, is actually a four-year-old-late-to-the-game attempt to compete with Wii/Wiimote interaction. Pathetic, dude.
  • Reply 10 of 196
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    So pathetic that it's not even funny anymore.
  • Reply 11 of 196
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    This corporate soap opera is getting better and better. Stay tuned for the next episode!
  • Reply 12 of 196
    First Dell and HP, and now Microsoft. How can it be that these executives don't get it? I love my iPhone, but there's no way that a smartphone can replace a desktop or laptop computer. Even my iPad 2 cannot fully replace my iMac. For some people, however, an iPad will be sufficient (especially when iPads can be activated without iTunes). What's this about a room being a computer? They can't be serious. Tablets are here to stay. Just because they're running scared, they want to sow seeds of doubt. Sorry, guys, it's not gonna work. You just sound desperate.
  • Reply 13 of 196
    stourquestourque Posts: 357member
    Microsoft sure has some morons running the show.
  • Reply 14 of 196
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    The GUI and mouse were also just a fad.

    The iPod was also just a fad.



    MS will come around, eventually, as they always do, though it seems to be getting harder and harder for them to use their position to make a solid claim to a market.
  • Reply 15 of 196
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stourque View Post


    Microsoft sure has some morons running the show.



    Yeah As long as they are talking that way and acting that way Apple will be just fine.
  • Reply 16 of 196
    edubongedubong Posts: 15member
    Microsoft has a BIG mouth and no product... every time they come out like this they end up eating their words... so I'll take this as confirmation that the ipad2 will be a smash hit, even bigger than anybody expects...

    remember when Baldmer said: "iPhone has "no chance" of gaining significant market share"

    Microsoft needs to kill windows and start fresh... maybe they just need to go bankrupt to start a SERIOUS innovation phase.. but whatever it is MS deserves to be the last... even going bankrupt (not that it's going to happen in our lifetime...) but who knows.. ;-)
  • Reply 17 of 196
    nofear1aznofear1az Posts: 209member
    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
  • Reply 18 of 196
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    the head-in-the-sand mentality at that company runs quite deep, apparently.
  • Reply 19 of 196
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Yes, because it's Microsoft's vision of the future that sold 50 million iPads.



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



    Can you imaging using Microsoft Word on your phone? Duh. The phones screen is only big enough for small things like contacts, mail and games. BARELY games.
  • Reply 20 of 196
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    I'm wondering how many tens of millions of iPads Apple needs to sell, how many billions of dollars they need to make from those sales, before it isn't a "fad" anymore.



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



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



    I get that Microsoft doesn't have a foothold in the tablet arena. I get that this probably irritates them. But seriously? You don't need to make a fool out of yourself in order to try and deal with those issues.
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