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Microsoft Portables

Sluggish Android Tablet Growth May Give Microsoft an Opening 269

theodp writes "In NASCAR, you can finish a race in the Top 3 by leading the whole way or by having spectacular crashes take out those ahead of you. The same may hold true for the tablet race, where Apple has led the whole way, but Microsoft could advance into 2nd or 3rd place as those once ahead of it crash and burn. 'Microsoft tablets based on Windows 8 won't be ready until next year,' notes SplatF's Dan Frommer. 'Unexpectedly, that might not be too late to matter.' Far-fetched as it may seem, Ars Technica's Peter Bright explains why the Windows 8 tablet invasion might work."
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Sluggish Android Tablet Growth May Give Microsoft an Opening

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  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @09:14AM (#37152572)

    Could we see something similar in 2012 between 'Jean Girard' Jobs and 'Ricky Bobby' Ballmer?

    No. 2012 is not the year that the final decision on tablets will be made. Just a little insight for ya', but Android is not going to sit idly by and wait a few years before finding and growing their niche in the tablet market. That kind of strategy may work for companies that think they can't fail because they have a large enough war chest to survive a war of competitive attrition, but Android isn't a sloth-like, relatively static codebase that's hoping others die before stepping in. And let's not forget that given another year Apple will have their next iPad on the market (and who knows what else). Apple is trying to create dependancies between its phone, tablet and entertainment products much the same way that MS made Windows + Office a dominant combination. Until MS can enter the market with strong ties and motivation for users to buy multiple MS phones, tablets and other entertainment products they will not be "racing to the finish line" with Apple, Android and whoever else jumps into the marketplace.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @09:27AM (#37152678) Journal
      I beg to differ: Google is moving at a snails pace in allowing devs from all over the world to market android apps. MS, for all their idiocy and frankly disgusting litigious nature, have already accepted devs from the majority of countries in the world to put paid apps on its store even though the platform isn't even properly ready yet!!!

      There is one thing that Microsoft frequently gets right that Google can learn from - Developers! Developers! Developers. I did bitch and moan about this (and no doubt will continue to do so) on my blog (see sig if you're *really* interested).
    • Android tablets have taken twenty percent of the market from Apple. That is not sluggish. Android phones are being activated at over 600,000 a day. Microsoft makes more on extortion from companies that create android devices than they do on their own phone/tablet sales.

      Windows 8 has far too many consumer hostile drm features. Let's not forget that upgrading to Windows 8 is not necessary, and vendors have been veering away from Microsoft's offerings for tablets. Both Apple and Google are many times

      • Android tablets have taken twenty percent of the market from Apple

        By shipments or by sales? Big difference.

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Saturday August 20, 2011 @09:17AM (#37152594) Journal

    Even Microsofties are now saying "Wait for the unified world of WP8".

    In the meantime, Apple continues to sell every tablet they can make, no discounting.

    And Android smartphones outsell everyone else.

    The "Unified world" will be a divided one - Android smartphones and tablets, and Apple smartphones and tablets. There is no room for a #3 (just like on the desktop, or we would have had a "year of the linux desktop" already) unless you consider < 1% to be "success".

    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

      Face it, without the requirement to run WIN32 apps, Windows has no built-in market. Unless Microsoft wants to give it away for a pittance, Windows 8 won't be able to compete with Android tablets, let alone iPads. Who's gonna pay an extra hundred bucks for the MS OS on top of their hardware. I imagine Microsoft will somehow make it so you can't run the tablet version on any other hardware, so they're free to give it away without cannibalizing their desktop profits, but still...

      Maybe if they can convince e

      • How many people were disappointed when they found the iPad wouldnt be running Darwin? Lots.

        How many people are saying they'll wait for the HP touchpad to go down to $100 - $200 and wipe down WebOS (which runs atop linux anyway) and run a distro all by itself? Check the comments in yesterdays story - they're there.

        A nice big tablet display, with detachable keyboard and mouse, running a real OS directly, and not something that has been stripped down for the smaller tablet display, or imposes a "smartphone

        • How many people were disappointed when they found the iPad wouldnt be running Darwin? Lots.

          Really? REALLY?

          Try virtually none. Most people who are interested in an iPad don't even know what Darwin is.

          All things being equal, a tablet able to optionally run a full PC OS might be a great competitor to an iPad. But all things won't be equal. That ability will up your hardware requirements to the point that price and battery life will not be comparable. And by the time MS gets one out, it will not be competing with iPads, it will be competing with macbook airs that offer the OS X version of the sa

      • I've had a long list of tablets over the years. I have a Tab 10.1 that I picked up the first week it was out.

        It's completely nonsense. If Microsoft can get an x86 tablet with 10 hour battery life out next year--it's going to wipe the floor with android.

        Android: sometimes kind of supports thumb drives, printers etc. It sometimes kind of plays back a variety of video formats well. It sometimes kind of supports word, excel and editable pdfs. It sometimes kind of has a stripped down application you

    • Meh. Microsoft's strategy has always been to claim that the next version will solve all problems, just wait for it and see, Many times they have touted the mythological next version to have all kinds of great improvements.

      But far too often have they failed to deliver on their promises. Everything from Chicago (Windows 95) onward has been over promising and under delivering.

      Microsoft has a problem delivering on it's promises. Apple never promises anything, but it often actually delivers. And not just stuff t

    • "The "Unified world" will be a divided one - Android smartphones and tablets, and Apple smartphones and tablets. There is no room for a #3 (just like on the desktop, or we would have had a "year of the linux desktop" already) unless you consider 1% to be "success"."

      And it's not really divided like the desktop world was. For every iOS app there's almost always and Android version. There's not really any document compatibility issues between the two that I know of (both can use PDFs, etc) like there is in

    • Do you mean Win8?

      Let me tell you one thing that Win8 will be able to do that none of the existing tables can: run desktop software. Not x86 software (note: Win32 != x86... it's an API - you can take Win32 and recompile for ARM), but desktop software. Think MS Office. Think Outlook. Even those two would already be a big deal for quite a few deal.

      Why would you want to run Office on a touch tablet? You wouldn't, but it's a whole different kettle of fish when you also have a keyboard dock and touchpad or mouse.

  • Car analogies in the summaries so you wont have to go to the comments section to understand TFA.
  • That is, previous MS entries into the tablet realm have failed largely because tablet support was added to Windows as an after thought. MS tablet users had to use the Windows paradigm with support for a touch screen, stylus, handwriting recognition, etc. bolted on after the fact. This made for a crappy user experience. Palm and Apple both understood from the get go with their Palm Pilot and Newton lines that took the tablet paradigm as being central to the user interface. Android and iOS maintain that parad

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      And it did not help that the real seller for Windows, MS Office, did not get tablet support at all thanks to a exec that did not see the point, and stonewalled any attempt at adding features that would make tablet use easier.

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      and weight, battery life, and cost had nothing to do with those previous failures? Leaving these things out makes the article look like a directed article by Microsoft because they can only hope people get interested because of the new UI since all those other issues still exist. Just look at all the latest PR on new ARM chips and how they are mentioning Windows 8 when they talk about their multi-core products. Windows is a bloated beast and has no place on battery powered devices no matter what color pain
    • The main reason MS tablets never sold was one reason.


      Who was going to by a Tablet PC when they were priced equal or more (sometimes twice as more) to a laptop offering. Even Origami UMPC's when they came out were one of the cheapest tablets out there, but at over $700 with only 1 hour battery life and laptops hovering around or below that price, it was doomed. The only saving grace that came out of UMPC's were netbooks, and they sold primarily on price, with most of them priced well under $400.

      What re

  • Different applications, different strengths, different weaknesses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes, they do differ - Android has all the strengths and WP7 has all the weaknesses

      (Seriously, no multi-tasking? No programs can run in the background and notify the user when something happens? "Tiles" are laughable replacements for notification icons)
  • WARNING: what follows is the opinion of someone who has no intention of buying a tablet and has not used a smart phone for over a decade!

    It assumes that there is actually more demand out there for tablets, only that the Android tablets just aren't good enough in the eyes of consumers to satisfy that demand. However, it could also be that Google's products are among the best around, but that there just isn't enough demand for tablets in general. I can imagine the latter being closer to the truth, in which

    • I'm part of the "demand out there for tablets." I haven't bought yet not because Android tablets aren't good enough but because they aren't cheap enough. When I can get a good tablet for $100 I'll buy one. My other requirements for a tablet: "not Apple" and "no monthly cell data fees."
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        My criteria for a tablet is definitely must "replace my netbook" and also ideal should be able to "replace my Archos".

        I want fewer devices, not more. Although there are some compromises I won't make. So some devices remain in my gadget bag despite of how over hyped certain devices might be.

  • Microsoft victorious entrance into the new age of tablets will be MS Office for iOS :)

  • I think that the wild-fire over tablets has already spread and burned out. Many many people have tried tablets and didn't like them not because they didn't perform in some way, not because of "compatibility" with something or other, but because they have limited uses. Tablets are good eye candy and are good for data output, but not so much for input and that's where a lot of usability drops. (Those cases with bluetooth keyboards are a nice addition though... Put me down for one when they create a case wi

    • Put me down for one when they create a case with a cabled keyboard to save battery.

      ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is an Android tablet with a removable keyboard dock, and it starts at $550 or so.

    • by robmv ( 855035 )

      Thinkpad Tablet case connector is standard USB, so you can plug any keyboard if you do not have the case near you for some reason

  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @10:35AM (#37153152)

    "In NASCAR, you can finish a race in the Top 3 by leading the whole way or by having spectacular crashes take out those ahead of you

    Of course in NASCAR, unless you are there at the start of the race, you aren't even in the race, regardless of how fast your car is, regardless of how skilled your driver is and regardless of how many people crash.

  • The story says if some one ahead of windows crashes and burns Microsoft might be in for a chance at 2nd or 3rd. Isn't Microsoft already at least in 3rd position, i know everybody whinges about convertible tablets (even though wacom stylus is the bomb) but their is a fair few out there. This is hardly the wild out there cutting edge prediction this guy thinks it is, he is just stating the obvious, what else would happen.
  • Android rules phones. Apple rules tablets. And Microsoft rules desktops. Quibble about the exact numbers or satisfaction of users, but that's the basic reality today.

    All three are making plays to get more dominant in someone else's kingdom. But the two desktop contenders: Apple and Microsoft may be trying to go for a unified platform too early. Do users really want to select cell G7 in Excel on their phone under Windows 8? And certainly Apple users haven't been completely happy with trends coming the other

    • Android will be be quickly leveraged to the back of the pack.

      You lose points for misuse of a buzzword.

      • Consider my triply-mixed metaphor, my use of buzzwords are the least of my posting's problems. But thanks for pointing it out. :-)

  • have you noticed ARM SoC vendors talking about their new multi-core chips and how they include "Windows" in their press releases when they talk about their usage? That's right, Windows is still bloated and will require lots of CPU power to run so they are all rushing to get some of the money Microsoft will pay them to make chips to float that tank.

    The problem is right in front of the article authors face but is missed. Windows is bloated and requires extra hardware and extra battery and therefore extra wei
  • Last Week: Android has 20% of the tablet market!!!

    This Week: Android Sales are Sluggish!!

    Seriously, all this marketing psycho-babble is really starting to confuse me.

  • The point the article seemingly misses is that "the market entry remained slight" for Windows Tablet Edition for a very specific reason. It SUCKED. XP Tablet Edition sucked. Windows 7 Tablet Edition continues to suck. And just parenthetically, Windows CE sucked and every mobile platform ever based on it sucked. Now, I'm writing this on a Windows 7 PC, and it doesn't suck. This is Microsoft's strength, they've gotten good at it, and the hardware industry has finally caught up to the point where even wi

  • Its not as crazy as it sounds. A version of powerpoint that would work with an android phone would be a fantastic application.
    Imagine a scaled down version of Microsoft publisher for android tablets. If I were in charge of Microsoft, I would
    create an entire division for Android mobile apps. Why do they even need windows phone, its reinventing the wheel.
    Microsoft Office is the moneymaker not windows itself. I cant imagine why Microsoft wouldnt create a version
    of Office for Android(with file compatibility wit

  • ...will run a multicore, blazing hot CPU, will be slightly clunky to make room for enough battery to give it a reasonable usage time, ...and oh, it'll have a keyboard and a mouse.

  • It was when Microsoft launched the Zune. We kept reading articles about how Zune sales were meeting all of Microsoft's expectations, and how it quickly shot up until it was outselling all other non-Apple portable music players. Heck, there was even a time when the Zune supposedly outsold the iPod []. Oh, and of course there was the "never count out Microsoft" crowd. Yeah, the Zune did really well... right up until they stopped making them.

    More recently, we've heard similar things about Windows Phone 7 devices.

  • Who looks at a market where an incumbent is decimating the competition and thinks "this is the perfect point for us to throw our hat in the ring"? Android was supposed have buried the iPad by spring of this year. The Touchpad was evidence that Apple would soon be elevated to niche status. And yet here we are...

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford