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Microsoft: No Tablets Until It's Distinctive

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the build-up-them-forearms dept.

Microsoft 203

BogenDorpher pointed us in the direction of a pocket-lint story saying "Microsoft’s UK managing director and ex-BBC man Ashley Highfield has exclusively told Pocket-lint that the company won’t produce a tablet device, and therefore follow in the footsteps of Apple and Google, until it's got something to shout about. 'We won't do anything in the tablet market unless we can be distinctive,' he told us." Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?

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203 comments

then, don't hold your breath (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879746)

then, don't hold your breath

Re:then, don't hold your breath (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880766)

*Exhales* ok, now I can breath...

In other words... (4, Insightful)

Nimloth (704789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879758)

We're looking for an idea but we ain't got squat.

Re:In other words... (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879794)

We'll never produce a tablet because copying is all we know.

Re:In other words... (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880624)

Shouldn't it be:

We are waiting for another company to come up with something cool so we can buy it and put our name on it.

Re:In other words... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879874)

We're looking for an idea but we ain't got squat.

Or perhaps Microsoft is actually trying to be thoughtful for once and produce something of real value that can stand out from the growing pool of crapware instead of just screaming "us too!" and chasing the crowd as they've often done.

It would be really refreshing to see somebody in this market taking their time to produce a quality product besides just Apple. It's become obvious that the way to take tablet marketshare from Apple won't be through rushing a hurried piece of crapola onto store shelves.

Re:In other words... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880118)

We're looking for an idea but we ain't got squat.

Or perhaps Microsoft is actually trying to be thoughtful for once and produce something of real value that can stand out from the growing pool of crapware instead of just screaming "us too!" and chasing the crowd as they've often done.

It would be really refreshing to see somebody in this market taking their time to produce a quality product besides just Apple. It's become obvious that the way to take tablet marketshare from Apple won't be through rushing a hurried piece of crapola onto store shelves.

You're overthinking it. Their recent flops like the Zune and PlaysForSure have taken them down a peg or two. That's all there is to see here.

Re:In other words... (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880626)

Don't you think that might be a good enough reason for them to find some way to innovate?

Re:In other words... (2, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880672)

For once? They've done that twice recently, once with the Zune and again with Windows Phone 7. Their biggest problem is having a piss poor marketing department. The Zune was a great player, yet the marketing made it look very unattractive for most. Windows Phone 7 is just suffering from a lack of any kind of decent marketing at all.

IMO, the Microsoft of today is not the Microsoft of yesterday. Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, and Zune are all fantastic platforms that are extremely stable and show a lot of forward thinking with the user interfaces. The tablet market is about to get really stiff with iOS, Honeycomb, and WebOS making a solid splash. If Microsoft can't bring something unique to the table, why lose money trying? They've already learned their lesson on bringing hardware (Xbox 360) and software (Windows Vista) to the market before they're ready for prime time.

Re:In other words... (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880818)

I wouldn't call Windows Phone 7 "innovation". It's a low-rent copy of the Apple model that also tries to leverage Office lock-in to push into the business space.

Re:In other words... (1, Interesting)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879982)

I don't know; Microsoft has often been less than original, but look at what they did with console gaming: they pretty much ignored the industry entirely until they came out with the Xbox which was pretty innovative (e.g., different sized controllers, hard drive, robust and stable online component.) It wasn't entirely influential - Nintendo will always do their own thing - but I think the current shape of the console market (DLC, downloadable games, online marketplaces, the prevalence of online play) was largely shaped by Microsoft. If they take this same approach to netbooks it may well be worth the wait; Microsoft may be evil but they also have a lot of money and expertise to throw at a problem once they are interested.

Re:In other words... (2)

Kinwolf (945345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880064)

Nothing innovative about bringing a locked PC that kept overheating to the console market. But I'll grant that XBox live is the part that was truly well done, and even today I think it's still the best online service.

Re:In other words... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880256)

I love bashing Microsoft as much as the next guy, but I disagree. The standard components in the XBox did allow developers to do stuff that wasn't possible on the PC - the minimum spec for Halo 2 on the PC is vastly above the original XBox spec. So they had the combined advantages of a familiar development environment (DirectX) and a standard platform. Innovative? Maybe not, but a damn good idea nonetheless. I guess you could say it's the same thing that the Phantom was supposed to be. Also - Kinect? Innovative? Damn straight! That thing is amazing. I tried it out in an electronics store and I was blown away.

Re:In other words... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880956)

I love bashing Microsoft as much as the next guy, but I disagree. The standard components in the XBox did allow developers to do stuff that wasn't possible on the PC - the minimum spec for Halo 2 on the PC is vastly above the original XBox spec.

Uh, what? They wrote a game that could run on a 733MHz P3 with a Geforce 4 and 64MB (?) of RAM, but they couldn't run that on a real PC without requiring much more powerful hardware?

Either they did a lousy port to the PC, or Windows is imposing massive overheads which don't apply on the Xbox.

Re:In other words... (3, Funny)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881070)

Either they did a lousy port to the PC, or Windows is imposing massive overheads which don't apply on the Xbox.

Yes.

Re:In other words... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881148)

I love bashing Microsoft as much as the next guy, but I disagree. The standard components in the XBox did allow developers to do stuff that wasn't possible on the PC - the minimum spec for Halo 2 on the PC is vastly above the original XBox spec. So they had the combined advantages of a familiar development environment (DirectX) and a standard platform. Innovative? Maybe not, but a damn good idea nonetheless.

But, consoles had already had standard specs and uniformity ... all Microsoft really did was to take a PC and turn it into a console. Yes, it was a PC architecture and offered some better horsepower, but I'm not altogether convinced this is "innovation" so much as playing to their strengths.

Not really passing any judgement on the XBox or Microsoft ... but, really, they joined the console gaming market, only the underlying architecture was what they'd already been focusing on.

Also - Kinect? Innovative? Damn straight! That thing is amazing.

The Kinect is cool, and quite well done. And it does involve some new technology ... but, again, the Wii controller had been out for several years, and Sony had released the "glowing golf ball" controller whose name I don't care to look up.

I'm not sure it's "innovative" in the trail-blazing sense of the word, but innovative in that it's better than what anybody else had done before and brings some new stuff to the table. Though, I must say I'm disappointed to know I won't be able to have a golf game for my Kinect ... I was really hoping for that.

Re:In other words... (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880398)

So, then you might call the original xbox 'distinctive' because of it's online content, which still remains as a 'distinct' advantage?

I'll make the bold guess that they are working on a touchless interface for their tablet. If not then they should be working on extending the kinects tech; as Microsoft hasn't done anything but break even on the gaming division, it might make the whole enterprise worth while.

Re:In other words... (1)

bickle (101226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880668)

If you think there was nothing innovative about an American console in a Japanese dominated market that allowed cross-development (PC-Xbox) in a proprietary market and online-capabilities in an offline world, you are either blind to history or just have an axe to grind.

Re:In other words... (1)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880808)

Different sized controllers ?

That was so much of an "innovation" that its successor has only one size of controller.

A monthly subscription mandatory to play online, that's the kind of innovation i can live without.

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880986)

I would disagree to say that the x-box was innovative. pc had all of these things before. i can't remember if i have ever seen anything truly innovative out of Microsoft. Their values comes in implementing things others screwed up. Even many of the windows 7 features that are seen as 'innovative' have been around for a while.

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35881054)

XBox was innovative? Pah! I'll accept the 'robust and stable online component', and the influence of that... but the rest? They worked with Sega on it after Dreamcast died and basically took some of their ideas and used them with a cut-down PC (first XBox used normal PC parts, remember). It ran a custom version of Windows, just like the Dreamcast could (some games used it, but not all). Even the controller was similar to the Dreamcast's. It was the first to come shipped with a hard-drive, but the PS2 that was released before it had an expansion bay designed to take one. They definitely have a lot of money to throw at a problem - as far as I'm aware they were still making a loss on the XBox when they killed it off, and the 360's failure rate is so atrocious that most other companies would have died as a result of paying out so much to replace consoles. That said, I do like the 360 and would have bought one if it wasn't for the PS3 being better value for money at the time I bought mine.

Re:In other words... (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881170)

Different size controllers?
Those things were unusable for all but sasquatch. I would not call killing off online play for Halo2 robust and stable. I and many others still play the original counterstrike online for a timeline comparison. DLC has existed in computer gaming for a lot longer than the xbox existsed same with online market places and online play. Microsoft copied from the pc gaming market and brought that to consoles.

Re:In other words... (5, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880092)

They already released their "slate" with HP [engadget.com] with Balmer being on stage to introduce it:

"press images of the HP Slate just hit the web, right as Ballmer showed it off during his CES keynote. The prototype device is said to be coming later this year, and it's running Windows -- Ballmer showed it running the PC Kindle app."

Fortunately for them it has bombed so badly they actaully have a chance of people buying this shit about them not wanting in the tablet market yet.

Re:In other words... (1)

MaroonMotor (967664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880148)

If they wait and bring something as neat, refreshing, well thought and coherent like they did with Windows Phone 7 and Metro then it will be well worth the wait. Doing that might or might not get them into the game, but simply aping Apple or Google is a certain losing proposition.

Re:In other words... (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880340)

WP7? Yeah, cut and paste is for pussies.

Re:In other words... (1)

kinuso kid (2009738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881134)

Cut and paste for pussies? That's why we have copy and paste on WP7 I guess.

One word (1)

jmedwards (2051048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879784)

Microsoft Courier.

Re:One word (3, Funny)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880364)

Apple Elite

Google Comic Sans

Re:One word (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880778)

I think your word count is off...

M$ fired the guys who had already designed one (4, Insightful)

ehack (115197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879792)

Re:M$ fired the guys who had already designed one (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879866)

How could they possibly release that concept? It had too much buzz around it, and if there is one thing MS hates... its being hip.

Re:M$ fired the guys who had already designed one (3, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880168)

I think its pretty plainly clear why Courier got dumped, and the team suffered some form of punishment - they publicised something which pretty much looked exactly like the holy grail of tablet computing. Seriously, look at the hype storm that followed the revealing of the Courier, even on here quite a few people said "yes, I would buy that in an instant". It had dual screens, fast processors, contact charging, promised a fantastic interface and a tonne of other things.

Basically, there was no way for the end device to live up to the dream that had risen around the publicised concept - or more correctly, no way for it to come in on time, in budget and fulfil everyones fantasies.

Microsoft had two options - get rid of the project quickly, or fail to deliver to the standard of the hype and suffer the consequences. So they ditched the project, which is pretty much their only real option.

Have you considered.... (0)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879798)

...not spending so much time staring at a screen and exercising a bit?

Re:Have you considered.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879908)

Well, I for one actually attach my iPad to the elliptical at the gym and watch Top Chef and other food porn as a motivator....

No, seriously, I do. It's like my own personal television at the gym that has my DVR attached via the cloud.

Re:Have you considered.... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879964)

I too find that exercise is best done while thinking about something else. This is why I like riding an actual bicycle -- I am thinking about where I am going and what is going on around me all the time. If you are on an exercise machine, all you are thinking about is the exercise and before you know it, you feel tired! Not to mention bored.

Re:Have you considered.... (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880240)

that's why you put on a dvd or a good cd and just zone out... or ignore the fact that you're exercising and just enjoy the show. I live in a part of the world that's frozen 6 months a year, and it's impractical at best to go out running in the dead of the winter. But I *can* put on a DVD in my laptop, put the volume up high, and forget the fact that I'm running on an elliptical for 45 minutes every day. When the weather's warm enough, I'll move outside. When it's frozen, my choices are to curtail my exercise significantly (time/cost considerations for skiing, skating isn't bad but I live too far away from any decent skating surfaces, I do own a pair of xc skis, but there aren't any good ski paths nearby), or to do some of that exercise on a machine.

Re:Have you considered.... (1)

SuperBeaker (604944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880832)

I used my iPad to make the treadmill less of a bore during the cold winter months. I was able to watch youtube videos and listen to music easily; it almost made the "dreadmill" bearable. Now that it's getting warmer I'm back to running outside as often as I can. But I don't dread running on the treadmill anymore.

Wow (3, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879802)

So not only are they late to the party, they're not even sure what to bring and whether they'll come at all.

That's some solid vision you're showing there, mister Ballmer.

Re:Wow (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879864)

Seems like a good idea to me: They're a software company. If they're going to introduce a piece of hardware, it should be a winner. If it's not a sure winner, they shouldn't release it.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879930)

But that's not what TFA is about: there it talks about a tablet operating system. MS won't make one until they've got a clue on what to make, which apparently they haven't. For a software company like Microsoft, that's a pretty sad state to be in, given that fact tablets have been "the next big thing" for at least a year now.

Re:Wow (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880222)

TFA actually only talks about a tablet device. The Fine Headline talks about a tablet OS, but there's nothing about that in the story (beyond the guy "not confirming" that MS is working on one. Fun fact: MS doesn't comment on rumors.)

But even so, MS has loads of money. They've got enough money that they can avoid releasing a crappy product just to have a product out there.

Re:Wow (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880896)

For a software company like Microsoft, that's a pretty sad state to be in, given that fact tablets have been "the next big thing" for at least a year now.

Bill Gates was telling me that Tablet PCs were "the next big thing" back in 2001. It's not like Microsoft haven't seen this coming.

Re:Wow (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881038)

I know, there even was a "Tablet Edition" of Windows XP, right? So where's the result of that now? I'm sure they must have researched the use of tablet computers and came up with something. How is it possible that Microsoft has no clue whatsoever on the subject of tablets?

Re:Wow (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880388)

Not every party is worth attending.

And besides, MS wants to write the software for tablets made by other firms, and maybe these would find it reassuring that they won't be competing with MS branded hardware.

Re:Wow (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880830)

It's less like "late to the party" and more like "started the party over ten years ago, and were so unpopular that they've stormed off at least thrice now, each time returning with the same hideous blue and green beer, hoping that because it's popular everywhere else, someone will pay attention to them"—ignoring the fact that the party is an anniversary celebration for a win connoisseurs' society.

Re:Wow (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880852)

Aaagh! "wine"! Not win! "wine"! Alas, poor funny moderation—I knew him, Horatio...

Windows is already distinctive (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879808)

The BSOD is arguably the most distinctive screen of any OS... and probably more recognizable to most people than the Microsoft, Apple or Google logo

Re:Windows is already distinctive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880076)

True and it's actually informative unlike what happens when Linux kernel panics repeatedly.

Re:Windows is already distinctive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880502)

Whats a linux kernel panics

3 Ubuntu

Early adopter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879810)

I think tablets really have the potential to be more than just toys, but it's going to take several generations.
Quite often, I'm an early adopter, but not this time. (Suckers)

Re:Early adopter (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879910)

It's already been several generations.

I had a tablet running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 tablet edition back in the 90's on my Dauphin DTR-1

Re:Early adopter (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880184)

Like the other guy hinted at, Microsoft has launched about five generations of tablets already.

Pretty much every single one flopped.

I actually liked the idea behind courier (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879828)

A folding tablet design which allowed pen entry. I already have a BT keyboard for my iPad as I found that I as used it more that input became more and more of an issue. Voice recognition won't work in a meeting and the built in keyboard can be a pain. Hence I have a clam shell case with BT keyboard. I remember the old Palm days with their shorthand and such. Adapt that idea. Give me alternative methods of entering data. Tie it all together with One Note. The folding / split screen approach would allow easy separation of work as well let alone make it more compact to carry.

Still the more I use my tablet the more I begin to wonder how long they will persist, they are good for presenting what I have, not so much for creating on, at least in the business environment

Re:I actually liked the idea behind courier (1)

headLITE (171240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879926)

A folding tablet which allows pen entry... isn't Nintendo making those ;-) Okay, those aren't really tablets, but it still doesn't sound like the distinctiveness they're looking for.

Re:I actually liked the idea behind courier (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880216)

Still the more I use my tablet the more I begin to wonder how long they will persist, they are good for presenting what I have, not so much for creating on, at least in the business environment

This could be a big deal - it's been said a few times that tablets/smartphones are better for people who consume, while desktops/laptops are better for people who create. I wonder how many of today's creators are only creating because they happened to be in a home with a desktop or laptop because that was previously the only choice for consuming? I wonder, as more homes switch to a consumer only model, whether this will have any impact on our culture in the future.

Re:I actually liked the idea behind courier (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880382)

I remember the old Palm days with their shorthand and such. Adapt that idea. Give me alternative methods of entering data. Tie it all together with One Note.

This.

I have been a devout Linux user for the past eight years, and have been completely Windows-free for about six years now. But I have said over and over that I would love a pen-entry & One-Note device for my academic and research work. Alas, it just doesn't exist. There is a fellow student in my research group that has a Win7 touchscreen laptop with the flip-around screen. He uses it primarily for OneNote, but he has had so many problems with it (too heavy, driver issues, loose connections and randomly unresponsive screen) that I just couldn't convince myself that it was worth it.

P.S. - I loved Graffiti [wikipedia.org] too.

Re:I actually liked the idea behind courier (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880748)

I don't understand the love people have for One Note. I had it on my tablet a few years back. It was pretty bad at handwriting recognition and I just couldn't see the point of taking handwritten notes on a tablet when I could do it faster and more accurately on a keyboard.

Re:I actually liked the idea behind courier (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881198)

I remember the old Palm days with their shorthand and such. Adapt that idea. Give me alternative methods of entering data.

The first day I got my Android phone, I put 8Pen [the8pen.com] onto it for the virtual keyboard. I have a slide out physical keyboard, but I have gotten so fast at 8Pen that it is quicker than using the physical one. I liked the Palm writing back in the day, so this is a similar writing style alternate data entry method. Your finger moves in circles and figure 8's, and you only have to lift it when you want a space. And if you can keep track of the center dot, you don't even have to look at the keyboard to write things like the hunt and pecking of a qwerty virtual keyboard.

Tradeoff, battery life vs weight, color, wifi (1)

codegen (103601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879832)

They are really not that heavy. I use mine as a remote control for my mac while lecturing in one of those large classrooms. The podium for the computer is way back in the corner and the iPad allows me to get out in front of the students. Thus I have it in my hands for a 1 hour lecture, and I'm certainly not in that great of shape. I have a Kindle which has a long battery life, but thats because of a monochrome e-ink display. Turning on the wifi also substantially reduces battery life.

Re:Tradeoff, battery life vs weight, color, wifi (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880258)

It probably depends how you're using it. In a lecture scenario I imagine you can mostly hold it down by your side, or with a crooked arm so it's more comfortable, but if you're using it to actually read or something for an hour you probably quickly start to suffer from gorilla arm.

Not a problem (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879884)

Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?

My arm gets plenty of exercise.

Re:Not a problem (2)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880284)

Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?

My arm gets plenty of exercise.

Doesn't it deplete the battery really fast ?

Re:Not a problem (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880442)

But the other one would be holding the tablet.

Re:Not a problem (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880704)

My kingdom for a modpoint!

Wont produce a tablet? correct... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879902)

Microsoft has been big on tablets cince 1992. Vista and 7 come with tablet functions in it and XP was the last good iteration with their tablet add on package.

Plus why should they make a tablet? Fujitsu and others make tablet hardware that is 900X better than anything that Microsoft could ever make.

Re:Wont produce a tablet? correct... (1)

dskzero (960168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880682)

...? How does that makes them "big on tablets cince (sic) 1992"?

Re:Wont produce a tablet? correct... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880804)

How does that makes them "big on tablets cince (sic) 1992"?

I think he means: Microsoft have been trying to sell tablets to people since 1992 and consistently failed. Now more innovative companies have taken over the market Microsoft are taking their ball and going home.

Microsoft’s UK managing director (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879914)

I wonder if "Microsoft’s UK managing director" is really in the loop.
I am sure Microsoft will do a tablet within a year.
Of course, they probably won't do the hardware.
The distinctive things will be: familiar dotnet environment, runs your legacy windows apps, put some small new thing like a transparent mode.

I Can Respect That Decision (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879934)

Good for Microsoft. It's nice to see a company realizing that a shitty product could be worse than no product. When they do come out with something, it should be worth a look.

I'm guessing Windows Phone 7 / CE is going to be their tablet OS of choice, or perhaps their XBox OS.

Re:I Can Respect That Decision (1)

spectrum- (158197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880128)

I agree, best not arrive to the party late with a poor product. Maybe Windows 8 will have a tablet edition or as above - maybe Windows Phone 7 will be the OS for their Android/iOS tablet competitor. Lets also remember the recent big news regarding collaboration between Microsoft and Nokia. Nokia who have a infamous history of light reliable mobile phones and small internet tablets like the Maemo Linux (somewhat Debian based) N900. I would say that any Microsoft offering could appear badged as a Nokia using much of their feedback and hardware know-how. The only fly in the ointment here is Nokia's involvement with the MeeGo operating system to replaced Maemo Linux (largely Intel supported). Certainly exciting times for MS/Nokia/Intel with all this mobile technology. And the pressure is on those guys as Apple and Google are pulling ahead right now.

Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35879940)

After five minutes, it explodes and showers everything in a five foot radius with white phosphorus.

Wrist strap? (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35879948)

How about a "widescreen" tablet that is shaped such that it can strap to the back of the wrist, like the play cheat sheets quarterbacks use? That should reduce arm fatigue and make it easier to carry.

Re:Wrist strap? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880164)

Why not use flexible circuitry and AMOLEDs to build the screen and a modicum of a body, while the main processing and storage is handled in a separate package communication over encrypted wireless. That way you could even wrap it around your arm for easy access, and look pretty sci-fi with it, while still being useful.

Yes, I know this probably has a hundred and one kinks in the design that need to be worked out. But it still sounds fun...

Re:Wrist strap? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880246)

And make your arm warm (and stink).

Already working on it (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880072)

It is pretty clear from various leaks that Microsoft is working furiously to release an iPad competitor. It will apparently run Windows 8 on ARM CPUs, and include some kind of WP7-esque Metro style of user interface.

Ah well, smell the vaporware (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880156)

Does the UI feature OMG ponies?

the problem for Microsoft is that new developments in hardware start low and build up - thus the PC grew out of the enthusiast market and came to replace the minicomputer, and the smartphone replaced the phone. AFAIK nobody has successfully done the reverse - i.e. started big and made it small. Microsoft's phones have been failures. Why should a tablet be any different? They will simply be unable to leave out all the stuff that makes Windows what it is, so it will always be more bloated, slower and less tablet like than the competition.

Re:Ah well, smell the vaporware (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881102)

I can speak for WinMo 7, but the problem with WinMo 6 was that it was basically windows 95, shrunk down to a sub-VGA resolution. You couldn't do jack without a stylus on my Omnia. In fact, you couldn't even find a WMP skins* that would give the media player decently sized buttons (decently sized meaning that you could do simple things, like pause podcasts without accidentally pressing the fast forward or rewind buttons, turn the volume up or down, etc, without using a stylus). You can't just shrink the windows desktop down to 1/5th it's normal size, and expect it to be competitive with iOS and android...

Then there's the app support. WinMo is technically more open than Apple, but finding apps for it was a pain. Google is your marketplace, nothing is free (yes, I am cheap. I want to try an app, and see if it will work on my phone before deciding whether to buy), and you never know what will work on your phone. Android has a bit of that last problem going on, but I have never seen it on my Droid 2. I would say that about half the apps I tried on my Omnia didn't work.

As for bloat, I don't know if there were any performance issues, because the phone pretty supported an email client, an office suite, and two years of disappointment. I am surprised Android performs so well, considering that it is java apps on a 1Ghz processor.

Weight (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880084)

Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?

The problem isn't the tablet. It's your arm.

Hover tablet (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880100)

Distinctive, and weightless.

Distinctive is a mistake (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880114)

In the world of tablets, the expectation isn't to be compatible with anything in particular. It's mostly about viewing things and not so much about editing or creating things. To that end, this is why Android tablets and iPad are successful -- it doesn't have to be "compatible" with anything but web standards.

Being able to view Office documents is just about the only thing of interest which is typically no big deal as those apps exist in abundance.

As for the user interface? It's all about touch gestures and there's just not a lot you can do without getting confusing. "swipe" for example, goes beyond what I am comfortable with where simplicity and intuitiveness are concerned. Simple is pretty much all there is and this late in the game, it would not only be HARD to be distinctive, but counter-productive as user habits and expectations are already formed.

Windows 7 on a tablet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880138)

Currently using Motion F5vs with Windows 7 on. I have to say that the handwriting recognition is superb. Fiddly at times but is a genuine joy to use most of the time, especially with OneNote.

Distinctive. (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880146)

Zune was distinctive, and not just its colour scheme. I'm sure they could 'biggie' that squirt technology and have a tablet that could fling a poo. Imagine the Blamer dance with a poo flinging Bune.

by color, of course (1)

dr_blurb (676176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880150)

Knowing Microsoft, it'll probably be all brown. Now that's distinctive.

Thank *ing god! (1)

RandomMonkey (908328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880152)

We don't need any more Microsoft "magic" in the future of computing. I am thankful they are bowing out here. Due to their apparent lack in innovation and resultant lack of monopoly destruction, we the users have a real chance of improvements in personal computer interfaces and OS.

Re:Thank *ing god! (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880604)

Tablets are about consuming, not computing.

Lol (0)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880174)

If you can notbhold an iPad 2 for more than 5 minutes your upper body strength is nit even measurable. Are you really saying your that sad?

Maybe you only tried the misshapen Xoom which is heavier an akward to hold, even so an average 12 year old girl would last more then 5 minutes with it.

Re:Lol (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880192)

Back to the iPad, that Xoom keyboard is terrible.

Re:Lol (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880280)

At least with the Xoom you aren't going to have to hold it for long. Motorola needs to work on the battery life.

Arms ache? (1)

Arkham (10779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880262)

Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?

Have you considered developing some muscle tone? My 4 year old can use the iPad for as long as I will let him with no complaints, and I have the heavier old model.

Distinctive? (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880350)

Not being distinctive has never stopped Microsoft from doing, well, pretty much anything in the past. Why is it stopping them now, I wonder?

Graphic Artists (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880446)

want a lightweight device that can run their Photoshop/Painter/etc. and has good pressure sensitivity (>512 "levels").

They practically all broke down in tears when they found out the ipad was essentially a giant iphone and not a productivity device they could really utilize.

Granted - the processing power required to run those programs might currently be a bit much for the form factor of the ipad, but it's definitely something to strive for, IMO. The market is definitely there.

Microsoft Courier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35880512)

The Microsoft Courier is EXACTLY what they should be making. Go take a look at the design art they had, and it was well on it's way as a prototype. It would be PERFECT. Two touch screens, with one that could be used as a touch keyboard if you needed to write a document (make them both horizontal and put a kickstand into the leather carrycase it could come with, like the kindle's). Reading a book would feel like reading a book. Browsing webpages would have become a snap. Taking notes would be a breeze. It was EXACTLY the kind of device they are talking about know.

Morons.

They tried, it failed (Libretto W105) (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880774)

In case you didn't notice, Toshiba launched the product for them last year. The reason you didn't notice was that it flopped completely owing to short battery life, too much heat, and the need for fans (plus the actual software wasn't very good.) As of present, Windows needs too much CPU power for any practical tablet.

review [engadget.com]

your arm aches after 5 minutes? (2)

fishtorte (1117491) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880602)

You're not masturbating nearly enough.

Scrawny weaklings (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880636)

"Have you considered making it light enough that your arm doesn't ache after 5 minutes?"

Have you considered getting a 10-pound weight and lifting it a couple of times?

In other words... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880676)

They tried, it sucked, they buried it.

Translation (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880726)

Translation:

WinMo 7 Ain't selling, and we're not going to throw any more money down that hole until we see some results.

Not Apple (1)

matt_lethargic (1420947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35880982)

Not being made by Apple is good enough for me!

The brown turd - Zune was distinctive (0)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35881086)

So are they waiting until they can come up with another fastastic failure like the Zune or the Kin? Sell it for 3 months and then drop it! That is pretty distinctive.
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