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MS Global Strategy Chief: Tablets Are a Fad

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the 640K-ought-to-be-enough-for-anybody dept.

Microsoft 643

jfruhlinger writes "Wondering why Microsoft isn't jumping into the red-hot tablet market? Well, maybe it's because Craig Mundie, the man in charge of the company's global strategy, isn't sure if the 'big screen tablet pad category' has staying power. Of course, it's possible that tablets will go the way of the netbook, but blogger Chris Nerney calls Microsoft's seeming total inaction in the face of a hot market 'mind-boggling.'"

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Improved tablets (5, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668824)

I'm waiting for an improved tablet. What I would like to see is a tablet with an attached keyboard. Let's say, a device where the tablet and keyboard are joined by a hinge, so that it can be closed while not in use.

I think I'll patent that idea right now.

Re:Improved tablets (1)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668938)

you mean the HP TX series ? already done, I've got one... and it's far from perfect!

Re:Improved tablets (5, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668942)

Oh for the love of God Moderators!

FUNNY dammit! FUNNY! NOT "Insightful."

Re:Improved tablets (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669012)

Insightful is the new Funny, because Funny gets you no Karma.

This was decided years ago, by people not you.

Hope this helps.


Re:Improved tablets (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669238)

The trick is to moderate "Underrated" if the comment already has a Funny moderation. Then they get karma but keep the Funny moderation.

Re:Improved tablets (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668962)

My idea of an "improved tablet" is something that I can treat like a PC and be in full control over.

I can print from it without any nonsense.
I can move files on and off of it without any nonsense.
I can run whatever apps I want without any nonsense.

Plus, sometimes a puny SSD just doesn't cut it.

Re:Improved tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669006)

This was invented by Shampoo.

Too late to patent, many to buy (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669058)

What I would like to see is a tablet with an attached keyboard. Let's say, a device where the tablet and keyboard are joined by a hinge, so that it can be closed while not in use.

Too late to patent since you can already buy any number [tcgeeks.com] of keyboard cases for the iPad.

What do they all have in common? They join the tablet with a keyboard in a case you can close.

Only with these you have the option to take just the screen with you if you like, unlike the ancient inflexible devices known as "laptops".

Re:Too late to patent, many to buy (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669184)

Only with these?
HTC Athena had something like that years ago.

Re:Too late to patent, many to buy (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669272)

... He was making a humorous reference to laptops.

well, he might be right (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668826)

Netbooks shot way up then crashed. Tablets? We'll see. The one thing that tablet has for it that the netbooks didn't is the iProduct base

Re:well, he might be right (1, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668972)

And the iProduct marketing

Re:well, he might be right (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668990)

Netbooks crashed primarily because of MS and the manufacturers got featuritis. Netbooks aren't really sold anymore, I'm not really sure that there is a lack of demand, but as long as nobody is selling a cheap, ultramobile device, it's really hard for demand to develop and be sustained.

I've got an Asus netbook, and apart from the battery life, I love the thing, it's big enough to type on, but small enough to be readily portable. But, then again, it doesn't run Windows, and MS expects to get a share of any netbook sales.

Other theories (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669156)

Netbooks crashed primarily because of MS and the manufacturers got featuritis.

Of course it's totally a coincidence the Netbook market dies around the same time the iPad was released.

No relation here, no-sir.

Re:well, he might be right (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669014)

Netbooks are laptops with a smaller form factor.
Tablets are smart phones in a bigger form factor.

It appears that size does matter, but in what context is anyone's guess.

Re:well, he might be right (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669028)

No they didn't. Netbooks are all around us. I see people using the little laptops all the time, and the sales of devices like the Macbook Air seem strong. Netbooks and Tablets are absolutely running a trend roller-coaster, but when the ride finishes I still expect to see them as strong contenders in the marketplace.

The reason why Tablets failed before was that they simply didn't make sense. The OS was terrible (Windows lolwat?), the hardware was big and bulky, the battery life was scary, and the touch screens weren't responsive. Contrast everything I just said with a iPad 2011.

I think dedicated eBook Readers will die. Laptops and Netbooks will continue to merge closer and closer. Tablets and Phones might also merge even more. Ultimately however I think touch screen devices of some form-factor will survive.

Re:well, he might be right (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669262)

Dedicated eBook Readers are not going to die until somebody makes a tablet that can be used when the lighting is not optimal.

Re:well, he might be right (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669092)

Only because no one sells them anymore. They kept getting bigger and added spinning disks. I love my dell mini 9, but have no idea what to replace it with other than maybe a macbook air. I am going to be wiping the OS no matter what route I go. I want light, small, and do not want any moving parts. I will use it attached to a real monitor and real keyboard when at work and do any and all heavy lifting on servers.

Re:well, he might be right (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669116)

I think the problem with netbooks was they all seemed to require a 2 year internet subscription, so while the netbook was cheap, the 2 years worth of G3 fees (or whatever was bundled) added up.

Re:well, he might be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669240)

I'm not so sure - we got an iPad recently for the original purpose of keeping our 16 mo. old daughter occupied on a 4 hour flight (as an alternative to a portable DVD player). She is now 20 mos. old and it is truly amazing to watch her adeptly use the iPad, especially when she really isn't really adept at much else yet. The interface is just that intuitive and easy.
It could be that we are witnessing the golden years of the keyboard as the primary interface for day to day computer use - and really, what is a tablet but a laptop without a keyboard.

Agreed (5, Funny)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668842)

Wholeheartedly Agree with Microsoft.

I now fear comment retribution..

Re:Agreed (1)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668914)

Tablets are fun and cool (if done well) but they have yet to prove their usefulness.
When or if they do that then we can agree that the form factor is here to stay

Re:Agreed (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669200)

Although tablets really aren't my thing, their utility seems obvious. A lot of casual computer users like to do a lot of basic content consumption (browse the web, read email, listen to music, play games) without the hassle of operating a full-scale computer with a full-scale operating system.

Microsoft, whose main business is selling complicated, full-scale operating systems, simply doesn't understand why people would favor a device that lets them do those things without one.

I think I remember... (3, Insightful)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668844)

Didn't they something similar about the internet? Made MSN instead? Ended up trying to copy what AOL was doing, and we all know since AOL stocks are worth a fortune these days that must have been a great idea.

Looking at windows phone 7 & the x-box (kinect), the company can execute well, but they really need some vision for future markets to get ahead of the curve. Seriously, 18 months ago WP7 would have crushed android. Now? Nothing.

Re:I think I remember... (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669128)

Actually, they started out copying what AOL was doing. That was their intent from the beginning.

It was far from a certainty that the Internet and the World Wide Web would blow widely open as it did, back in 1994 and 1995 when Microsoft was developing the Microsoft Network (MSN). A large customer base continued to use AOL and similar 'online services' up until the turn of the century, actually.

What will come after tablets? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668848)

Smaller tablets?

Re:What will come after tablets? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668992)

Not only will they be smaller, but I believe they'll incorporate some kind of functionality that will allow them to replace the telephone as well.

Re:What will come after tablets? (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669070)

You mean smartphones?

Re:What will come after tablets? (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669078)

I think the iPhone did this already.

Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (3, Interesting)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668850)

So, sitting here in a public establishment I look around and see 1 laptop and 5 netbooks... Since when have netbooks gone anywhere?

Re:Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (3, Informative)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668890)

I think that "go the way of the netbook" might also refer to the razor thin margins on netbooks. Not a very profitable market to be in.
Fighting for the scraps in a race to the bottom is unlikely to be a winning strategy.

Re:Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669052)

It's not a winning strategy, but it's a market worth going for as supplementary to your primary market. The problem is that manufacturers by and large stopped selling them a couple years ago. Last time I looked it was really tough to find something that was durable and cheap, netbooks I've seen lately tend to go for similar prices to laptops, which is a huge problem. People who like netbooks typically aren't needing or wanting a lot of shiny features, just something cheap and portable to do basic tasks on.

Re:Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669260)

And yet, Best Buy displays as many netbooks as laptops. People are buy them. Margins may be thin, but it is likely that soon tablets and netbooks may make laptops a thing of the past. Less people buying laptops shifts supply and demand. Laptops already cost more than a netbook, with less demand they will increase in price. Since people are happy with the cost/performance of a netbook AND netbooks improve over time, full blown laptops are becoming less valuable. Another point of view, netbooks and tablets are more mobile friendly (lighter, better battery, etc.). Tablets are the new "in" thing, so those people who HAD to own a laptop as a badge of honor now want tablets. Laptops have always cost more than the equivalent desktop, since they are no longer the best mobile solution and not "shiny" enough they will likely fall back to a niche for people needing a full workstation with mobility. Your average mobile office traveller browses the web and checks email, both tablets and netbooks do this well enough and are improving exponentially.

I think the effect of the tablet will even impact the desktop PC market. In another generation or two of the tablet, say Android 3.2 or 4 era, there will be a large number of people using tablets. These people may very well stop using their PC at home, since the functionality is duplicated. There may be a sharp decline in PC sales. Businesses may also see the same trend. Couple this with the huge push towards "cloud" technology and the desktop PC may be replaced with a terminal (full circle). Since any old dumb device would work, tablets could replace the desktop PC in the business world. Simply provide a docking solution. Then the idea of a Help Desk and Tech Support almost vanish, in terms of hardware support. Tablets would simply be swapped out, your "desktop" would be in the cloud and unaffected by hardware fault. Current tablets are already priced below the office PC's I have purchased lately. Tablet prices will only go down with wider use and every year the technology will improve.

Honestly, it is entirely possible that the Tablet will take Microsoft down a peg. Microsoft is very far behind in this market and the virtualization market. Both markets, I predict, will be huge in years to come.

Re:Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (1)

Elviswind (1959800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668910)

You clearly missed the memo that netbooks have also gone the way of the netbook . . . . wait, what?

Re:Wait wait... "go the way of the netbook" (1)

interglossa (1110251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668970)

I see netbooks all over the place still, I don't know what was meant here either...

Oh Microsoft, there you go again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668854)

With this coming from the marketing geniuses behind the Zune this is not a huge suprise...

Re:Oh Microsoft, there you go again... (2)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668950)

...because, as we all know, there is NO market for MP3 players.

At least not for brown ones

The Zune wasn't really bad (it wasn't that good either) but the early defining feature seemed to be the fecal color... that seemed to stick in people's minds.

Possibly correct (4, Interesting)

arikol (728226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668856)

He is possibly correct.
Meanwhile, some others (notably Apple) are riding that bubble like the silver surfer and making money by the crate load.

So Microsoft's goal is NOT to make money from new tech?
Even if it is a bubble Microsoft shows its corporate vision (or lack thereof) in this.

Kind of sad because this is the same company that made the Kinect not so long ago, showing that not everybody at Microsoft lacks vision.

Re:Possibly correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669010)

Except that MS initially didn't do shit with Kinect, the hacker community did. I have yet to see a Kinect actually hooked up to an Xbox in anyone's home.

Re:Possibly correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669086)

This is because you have no friends and no life, and live in your mother's basement.

Now go take out the garbage, Gary, it's your turn.

Re:Possibly correct (4, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669100)

As is typical of Microsoft, their research and engineering folks do some really cool stuff. Their real weakness is in every single person between those departments and what gets sold as a product.

Surface, the Courier, Kinect (the full list is quite long)... they really do make some cool stuff, and often well ahead of the competition. It just seems like the suits there are actively doing everything they can to stop MS from actually bringing anything cool to market. Boggles the mind, really.

Re:Possibly correct (2)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669212)

The Kinect is indeed a fad. I have one to my XBox which is now only used during parties. To accurately control a simplified interface to something it is too slow and unresponsive and gets tiring really quick. To pause hold your arm out for 5 seconds. To click go in the general area of the button and hold your arm for 2 seconds. Yeah, that will catch on real quick as an interface.

Their other invention they hope will catch on is the Surface tech which is basically turning your table into an oversized tablet, *real* comfortable if I want to read, watch or control something while laying in my couch. Give me my trackpad or a touchpad or if you want to go into the future, an accurate mind controller, the rest has been proven as infeasible and too clunky for any period of time. People that say they rather have a laptop, fine, but I'm not comfortable holding a 5 lb electric heater with a 1" thick solid keyboard while laying down or carrying that $1500 device with me to work. Give me my $500 tablet that I can stick in a pouch and carry without hardly noticing it. Smartphones are too small for me too, give me an iPad or similar tablet with phone capabilities (or SIP with affordable data plan) and a Bluetooth headset. What would be even neater is a small bluetooth phone module detachable from the tablet just in case I don't want to carry around my data device.

Re:Possibly correct (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669096)

The reason Apple can ride the bubble is that they created it. Their skillful advertising, combined with the fact that they're a media darling, convinced people that they needed something that no sane person needs. Objectively, a tablet is a laptop without a keyboard or the ability to do a lot of things laptops do, but with a higher price tag. The only reason to own one is that they're fashionable and hip.

Re:Possibly correct (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669258)

And they were LAST to come out with the kinect after Wii and Sony already had theirs.

Windows = came out of after Apple (which, yes, came out after Xerox).
IE Browser = came out after Netscape. Remember they thought the internet was a fad.

But don't worry, they'll just buy out a company with the technology when they find they're behind again. (I don't think they will be able to squash this with the android and other operating systems running phones and other devices.)

No innovation going on in Redmond.

Re:Possibly correct (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669274)

Microsoft's myopia was even evident in the Kinect - that it was a gaming only device and should "never be connected to a real computer"

They very nearly went the way of Sony in this regard, but eventually saw the light.


Just like that whole "Internet" fad too... (3, Insightful)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668858)

It took until Windows 95 until Microsoft decided that the whole "Internet fad" thing perhaps, just maybe had some legs.... meanwhile, many techies had been on the Internet since 1988 and on the World Wide Web since 1993.

Re:Just like that whole "Internet" fad too... (1)

bwintx (813768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668936)

And not even the original version of Windows 95... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95#Internet_Explorer [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just like that whole "Internet" fad too... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669224)

Internet Explorer was a retail box purchase as an add-on to Windows 95 for quite a while. IE 4.0 was sort of an 'upgrade' of Windows 95 and added the Active Desktop stuff like the quick launch area on the toolbar. Installing IE 4.0 is still the only way to get those enhancements to stock Windows 95, because IE 5.0 doesn't bundle that stuff.

Microsoft was an early adopter... (2)

rve (4436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669144)

It's not like the tablet fad caught Microsoft completely by surprise:

Bill Gates unveils Microsoft's new Tablet PC in 2002 [upi.com]

And as for the internet thing, what you really mean is: Microsoft didn't get into the World Wide Web until 1995. This isn't terribly surprising, since the WWW hadn't been around yet when windows 3.1 was released. At the time, the WWW was one of several possible futures. The one MS first wanted to bet on was the 'Microsoft Network'. Of course, that's not the path history ended up taking, so they had to adapt.

Holodeck? (1)

Horizontal_Mode (1970618) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668860)

As for desktops, Mundie had a bold prediction: "I believe the successor to the desktop is the room, that instead of thinking that the computer is just something on the desk that you go and sit in front of, [in the] future basically the whole room is the computer and you go in it."

Holo-addiction here I come!

Re:Holodeck? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669038)

I already go in my computer.

Re:Holodeck? (2)

Shillo (64681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669046)

Maybe but I don't think so, for a simple practical reason. A centre of a large, wall-mounted screen will be above your eyes. This is indescribably uncomfortable for anything that isn't basically vegging out in front of a TV.

Re:Holodeck? (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669230)

There are two Zombie Technologies that will Just Not Die at Microsoft:

  • Ultra-smart "home of the future"-style home automation. Despite the advantages the costs of such a system have yet to justify themselves.
  • Voice control everything. Microsoft futurists can't seem to understand that most people can type and operate a mouse faster than they can speak.

It's not mind-boggling at all (1)

havokca (1864454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668870)

.. they're tired of playing catch up. So they're doing the logical alternative: innovating^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H resting on their laurels like a bunch of idiots.

Re:It's not mind-boggling at all (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669106)

It's more likely that monkeyboy Ballmer hasn't got the geek credentials to sign off on things just because they're cool. Bill Gates for all his problems was at least a geek/nerd, he had technical skills and was into phreaking for a time. The problem is that if you try to run a tech firm like a typical business, then you invariably run out of steam like this. MS has the personnel and expertise to be innovative, they're just choosing to fixate on the bottom line without understanding that the OS market can't be relied upon indefinitely, and definitely not if they're wanting to grow the business.

They can't compete (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668872)

It should be obvious by now that Microsoft is incapable of competing with Android and iOS whether on the phone or the tablet. Much less get into the game with something great enough it makes up for their tardiness.

The only strategy left is to hope it all goes away soon, and denegrating that part of the market is the only commentary they can make to help that along.

Look on the bright side MS, at least the standalone digital music player market is shrinking.

Re:They can't compete (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669036)

WP7 looks and performs pretty good...but it's not a competitor because it's just not marketed. Marketing is everything. Look at apple. I remain convinced the only reason Android went anywhere with "real" consumers and not just the tech crowd is Motorola's "Droid Does" marketing campaign.

Re:They can't compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669150)

Not having those "need to run program X" and "Everyone already knows how to use it" lockins makes things difficult when you've let yourself get used to them.

Still it's not like MS is going broke or anything.

Re:They can't compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669194)

MS have canned the Zune.

my old style tablet is better (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668874)

it is portable and even has a full keyboard. It is a clamshell design and it protects the screen when you close it.

Re:my old style tablet is better (0)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669142)

I don't doubt that it is "better" for you, since you seem happy with it and haven't run out to buy a new one.

But it's not better as in lighter, it's not better as in thinner, and it's probably not better as in better battery life.

Re:my old style tablet is better (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669264)

Does it have a touch screen?

piss on both netbooks and tablets (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668876)

netbooks are still around, still selling, problem with them is I am not going to pay 200+ dollars for something that has not changed from 4 years ago, these are 60$ computers

same with tablets, sell me a 60$ netbook for 500$ and make me buy an extra keyboard?

Re:piss on both netbooks and tablets (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669032)

I very much agree with this. Most netbooks go for around $250 to $300 (can go higher). For $400 you can get a full laptop with 4GB RAM vs. 1 GB RAM, 500 GB HD vs. 160 GB HD, Dual Core real processor VS. Atom, and Battery live is about the same. Only thing netbook saves you is the weight, but that's been coming down on regular notebooks too. Unless you have gobs of money and can afford both, real laptop is definitely the way to go. Same goes for tables, only worse. Because they cost even more than the laptop, and the specs are even worse.

just sad really (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668882)

I don't have a keyboard-free laptop and don't plan to get one, but this is just sad really. What self-respecting company would pass up the chance to over-charge gullible consumers and make bazillions of dollars? It makes me wonder if M$ might be entering some long, slow death spiral. I'm imagining they have been entirely drained of all the dynamic, daring innovators who all defected to Google and Facebook and the only employees left are the boring, fearful, lifer types who just want to keep punching the clock and paying off their mortgages. Whither now, Micro$oft?

Re:just sad really (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669066)

IBM abandoned the PC market because they thought it was a fad and "beneath" them. They focused on bigger and better things. Obviously Microsoft isn't "too good" for the tablet market, but if they think it's a fad then why waste the money?

Re:just sad really (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669158)

You realize they can't just snap their fingers and have a tablet appear, ready for the market, correct? They have to invest money to make one. If they think that the money invested won't be worth the money earned, then they are making the right call.

Actually, since you spelled their name with a dollar sign, you probably understand no such thing, and are really just fantasizing about what you wish would happen.

Now he's done it... (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668886)

Now that somebody at Microsoft has said tablets are a fad, they're going to be around forever.

Here is a Microsoft prediction to real-life consequence translation table:

X is a fad = X is going to be a fixture in the future of computer technology

X ought to be enough for everyone = X is going to look very insignificant very fast

X infinges on our patents = X is a major threat to us

X (said 36 times in a row) = X is going to start migrating away from us

Its not a phone (1)

Layer 3 Ninja (862455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668892)

For me, it seems its a smart phone in a bigger form factor, with out the phone capability. If I'm am going to carry it around, it should replace all my other devices. I dont want to carry around a tablet and a phone.

Re:Its not a phone (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669062)

It should be, and will eventually become more of a laptop/netbook replacement. Desktops are here to stay, and will still be here 50 years from now.

Re:Its not a phone (1)

Layer 3 Ninja (862455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669216)

Yes, I believe this. I really like the idea of the Atrix. If it can have a decent *office suite and a vpn client, it could replace my dept's phones and laptops.

Re:Its not a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669164)

Please mod parent up. I embraced the smartphone movement because it meant carrying less devices. I am adamantly opposed to anything that means carrying more "stuff."

That's one of things I find interesting with the Galaxy Tab. It's 7" form factor makes it perfect for carrying everywhere, also the ability to use it as a phone means I don't need to carry my phone. Unfortunately, Android is still a bit weak and battery life is lack luster to depend on it for a phone.

My dream machine: A sturdy version of the Android OS, 7-9" form factor, very thin, fit in my back pocket or jacket pocket, 8-10+ hr battery life (being used actively), USB keyboard / mouse, bluetooth phone capabilities, Exchange server, desktop browser mode.

Agreed *cough* (4, Funny)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668896)

I think there is a world market for maybe five tablets.

Hello? (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668898)

Aren't fads how most businesses make their money? I mean, if the things consumers bought weren't fads, they wouldn't need to buy new ones very often, would they?

May not be a bad stance, even if he's wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668916)

Just look at Microsoft's track record in chasing "hot markets". About the only success is the XBox, and only after throwing enormous amounts of money at it for years. The jury is still out on WP7 (though not looking very good so far) but just about everything else they've done chasing hot markets has been total failures.

Re:May not be a bad stance, even if he's wrong. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669280)

How is that success?
The 360 might one day pay for itself, so far it is only profitable quarterly and maybe yearly. It has not and might not pay for its own development. There is no conceivable way the 360 can pay for its own development and the costs of the original unit.

MS Hardware (3, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668954)

I don't think MS knows how to be a hardware company. I'm typing on an MS ergo keyboard, which I like, and I guess we can call Xbox/Xbox 360 a success. However, they have way more failures than I can count. They also aren't very good at providing software support for the new directions hardware takes. They're always playing catchup.

microsoft strategy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668956)

Totally wrong. Microsoft is not a leader. Microsoft is a follower. Their modus operandi is to imitate what already is successful.

Therefor their opinion on what will, or will not, become successful is irrelevant to their business decisions.

I agree (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668968)

I'm inclined to agree. I have some coworkers with iPads, and they're starting to not carry them to meetings in favor of a PaperPad and a pen. They're either awkward to view (too horizontal), or too awkward to type on (too vertical with a case-stand). They're nice for playing angry birds during meetings though.

Re:I agree (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669206)

I bring scrap paper to the meeting and then scan it through the copier and mail it to myself from there as a PDF. I'm recycling and saving $700 :)

Microsoft failed with their tablets... twice... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668974)

They failed with their tablets ~10 years ago...

They failed again with their tablets a few years ago then they attached legs to them and failed to sell them as tables...

Microsoft should stick to defending their monopoly and destruction of other companies (Nokia)... It's the only thing they're good at...

64k (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35668976)

A desktop should be enough for anybody...

Wat (5, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668978)

Microsoft effectively killed the netbook when they quit releasing versions of XP and forced everyone to move to Windows 7, which had higher memory and drive requirements. By the time you were done with a system that could run Windows 7 well, it wasn't that much cheaper than a regular laptop.

Tablets don't need to run a Microsoft OS. Apple and Google (and now Amazon) are showing you don't need to have a local PC to do most of the work you do with smartphones and tablets.

We will never need more than 640k or the Net (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35668982)

Obviously, we will never need more than 640k (he says as he types on a 1000 Gbps line, not using his quad-core machine with 8GB DDR3) and the Net is a fad too.

Here's a clue stick - Government Computer News shows about half of all government devices purchased are expected to be tablets like the iPad, iPad2, and iPad3.

Adapt or die.

Re:We will never need more than 640k or the Net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669266)

LOL what exactly are they "showing", I think you mean baselessly speculating. Adapt or lie was it?

A fad? (1)

0x4a6f6e43 (837256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669000)

WTF Mundie, yeoman have these things on the bridge of the Enterprise. On both TOS and TNG. That's hundreds of years of freaking "staying power." What a moron.

It's mostly this (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669040)

"Wondering why Microsoft isn't jumping into the red-hot tablet market? "

The stuff is true too, but it's mostly because Windows 7 cannot work well on it, and WP7 has been a disaster so far.

intention; reduce unnatural death rate 99% by june (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669044)

we could easily afford to do that by disarming? more real stories about that might give us something to discuss other than who's (babys are) exploding/dying today/next?

this must be ambitious goal scheduling day?

History IS mind-boggling (1)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669048)

Tablets have been around nearly as long as laptops, and have historically done terrible outside of specific business applications. Craig Mundie's response seems a well tempered response based on historical perspective.

Not only that, but Microsoft has always lead the Tablet charge, so this article doesn't even seem to make sense. Basically all full-sized commercial tablets come standard with a multi-touch Microsoft operating system. Microsoft has been spamming commercials as of late about their new tablet hardware...

No surprise (5, Interesting)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669056)

I'm guessing it's because Microsoft doesn't have a touch-based UI for Windows that they're saying tablets are a fad. They thought the same about the internet and portable mp3 players too. Yes, they had tablet PC's long before others but it was a barely-modified version of XP that simply replaced a mouse with a stylus - it wasn't the same.

They'll get into the market as soon as they can cobble together a "good enough" touch-based UI for Windows and then leave it about 5 years later when they realize they aren't making any headway against already well-entrenched Android and iOS markets.

The Microsoft-dominated era is over unless they can figure out a way to execute at least as well as their rivals.

"Jumping" into the marekt? MS can't jump. (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669094)

Jeez, how many years of feature churning did it take before they squatted out Vista? And don't forget MS was pushing tablets hard 5 or 6 years ago, and that didn't turn out so well. I'm sure mentioning the word "tablet" on the Redmond campus was a great way to kill your career until fairly recently. I'm not familiar with Nerney's blog, is he usually clueless?

Hasn't MS been chasing this fad for ~10 Years? (4, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669110)

This seems odd, since Microsoft has been trying to get people into tablets for about 10 years. UMPC/Slates/Etc. I remember this was a keynote item for Bill Gates.

Now someone else actually makes a success out of it, and it's a fad?

That seems like the very definition of sour grapes.

Hurt feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669118)

Or maybe it's because they tried to create the tablet market years before the iPad but nobody listened

No vision (2)

kipsate (314423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669122)

When has Microsoft demonstrated any vision beyond marketing? Microsoft makes profit out of their monopolies (Windows and Office) only. Everything else loses them money. Check out their annual reports [microsoft.com] if you don't believe me.

I wrote a blog-entry [blogspot.com] about this.

Tablets? No, thanks. (1)

Kwpolska (2026252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669130)

I hate tablets.  These are the worst devices ever made.  I don't understand why do people love them.  I'll never buy a tablet.

That's What MS Always Says When They're Behind (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35669136)

Watch for an MS tablet within 18 months. They are probably scrambling to put something together, it will arrive way late, and it'll suck. I'm not prescient or anything, I'm just guessing based on the past 20 years of being a programmer in Seattle that doesn't work for MS.

Tablets will replace netbooks (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669140)

Tablets serve the same niche that netbooks do. A smaller machine that is more portable than a laptop or desktop that handles tasks that are needed while traveling or away from your more permanent machine. Also something that is not as expensive as your laptop and won't be as painful if lost or stolen.

There seems to be an assumption by the industry that people want to own just one machine that does everything. What is happening is that they own multiple devices that may or may not share similar tasks, but have different levels of portability. You may have one device that stays at home and one that you take on the bus to work with you. Another may be just for long trips. The hard part is not the form factor, but getting those devices to share data in a transparent and secure manner.

Another reason that Microsoft may be grousing about tablets is it breaks the usage model for Windows. Most windows software wants at least a two button mouse. Click for select and right click for context menus. With a tablet you have no right or left mouse buttons so you have to come up with replacements for those actions. Apple has an easier time converting because they were mostly one button instead of two. (And X windows users have three buttons to contend with. (Though two are just cut and paste.))

I expect that tablets will almost entirely replace the netbook market by 2015. By then the OS issues will be worked out and they will "just work".

Perhaps, but... (1)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35669172)

...in the meantime, Apple is rolling in giant piles of cash earned from this "fad".
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