Microsoft, partners readying iPad mini competitors for later this year

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


    Welcome to the cemetery of iPad killers ....

  • Reply 2 of 70
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 70


    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?

  • Reply 5 of 70
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member


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

  • Reply 6 of 70
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 70
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


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

  • Reply 8 of 70

    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

  • Reply 9 of 70
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 639member


    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... 

  • Reply 10 of 70
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


     


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 70
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 70

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 70

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 70
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 70


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

  • Reply 17 of 70

    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.

  • Reply 18 of 70
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 70

    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.



     


    The percentage of people who want a so-called "real" file system on their tablet can be counted on one hand. And that's if the hand had it's thumb and 3 fingers cut off. The sales of the iPad compared to everything else proves this.

  • Reply 20 of 70

    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.

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