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Sluggish Android Tablet Growth May Give Microsoft an Opening

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the don't-call-it-a-comeback-or-a-slate dept.

Microsoft 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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Seriously? (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#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? (3, Insightful)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37152678)

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).

Does anyone actually use tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152762)

I keep hearing how popular tablets are, but I never actually see anyone using them.

I work in industry at an office in the downtown core of a large American city, but I also get to travel as part of my job, and I lecture part-time at a local college. During a typical week, I'll see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people, in all sorts of settings doing all sorts of activities. But I very rarely see anyone using an iPad, or any other tablet.

Sometimes I commute by public transit, and I never see people there using them there. I never see people using them when I'm flying to other cities, even across the country. I never see people sitting outdoors using them. I never see people using them while eating lunch or drinking coffee. I never see people using them at my workplace. I never see people using them at the offices of the other companies I visit.

I've only seen my students use them on two occasions before class, but both students put them away and used netbooks instead when the lecture started. The only other time I've seen people use them is at Apple stores.

Tablet users are something that I actively keep an eye out for, but they just don't seem to exist. For all the hype that tablets get, I'd expect to see them actually being used. I mean, I see people using their cell phones. I see people using netbooks. I've even seen more people writing in paper notebooks with pens in the past week than I've seen tablet users in total, over all time.

So I have to ask, does anyone actually use tablets?

I see tablets all over the place (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#37152826)

Of 15 people that work on my floor at my employer, 3 have iPads. On the bus to and from work, it's rare that there is not at least one person using an e-Reader or a tablet of some sort.

Just look at sales figures. Apple is selling iPads as fast as they can make them. At the Apple Store by my work, the days that new iPads come in, there is always a line out front before the store opens for the day.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152916)

San Francisco is the exception, not the norm.

Wrong coast (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#37153800)

I live in the DC metropolitan area.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 3 years ago | (#37152990)

People buying them does not mean they're using them. I have one (8" Android 2.2, with an excellent 1280x768 capacitive screen), and barely use it. My dilemma is whether to double down and get a better one, or just give up on it. My tablet is not so much competing vs my netbook, as vs my HTC HD2. The 4.3" screen is big enough for ereading (except pdfs), mail and keeping up to date with rss feeds.

So the tablet is justified only for browsing, reading comics, and reading pdfs and docs. I've bought QuickOffice to be able to edit docs, but haven't used it yet. Plus, when I'm home, not being able to access content directly off my NAS is a pain (I'm supposed to FTP it over, then play it, or drag and drop it, or put it on an SD card or USB key... that's too cumbersome... I've got a NAS, if've got wifi... talk ! In the end, I'm still using my netbook for that...). When I'm outside, the thing needs 2 hands or a flat surface, taking out of a bag, usually has no 'net (no wifi, and a dedicated data plan does not seem worth it at all)... I find myself reaching for my HD2 instead.

I'm sure I'll be getting the upcoming Samsung very large screen (4.65" or 5.3", rumors differ) phone (barring nasty surprises). I'm really wondering whether I should get the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet, which seems most suited to my needs (full size ports, real pen to take notes...).

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 3 years ago | (#37153418)

Plus, when I'm home, not being able to access content directly off my NAS is a pain (I'm supposed to FTP it over, then play it, or drag and drop it, or put it on an SD card or USB key... that's too cumbersome... I've got a NAS, if've got wifi... talk ! In the end, I'm still using my netbook for that...).

There are quite a few Android apps that allow you to browse filesystems over WiFi. I don't know if any of them work with your tablet/NAS/filesystem combo, but you could try.

If all else fails, you could run a web server on your NAS. It's clumsy, but it should allow you easy access to the content.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 3 years ago | (#37153586)

I've tried a couple. My tablet is missing a component for samba or NFS access, and its not on xda, so indeed it must be FTP or HTTP download, which is as cumbersome a drag and drop from my PC. I'm guessing a 1st-tier tablet wouldn't have that issue.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#37153464)

FWIW, I did all my term papers last academic year (20k+) on my iPad. Granted, I purchased a blue tooth keyboard. Which makes a good deal of sense if you want to do text entry.

My iPad is also great for lecture notes (when I'm giving lectures) and many other things.

And, as I mentioned in my previous comment, I see people with tablets all over town. Admittedly, this could be because a disproportionate number of people in my metropolitan area take public transport compared to many cities. But my coworkers that I see with tablets live on the north end of town and drive instead of taking the train or the bus.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37153694)

I use Dropbox to synchronize my files between my iPad, my Xoom, my Droid, and my Ubuntu laptop. For my 30 GB of music, I loaded it all into music.google.com and now it just seamlessly integrates into the media players off all of my devices. For documents, there's Google Docs and for videos, there is YouTube, hulu, Netflix and, er, other places.

If you're on a 2.2 device using it as a tablet then, yes, there are superior experiences to be had. For you, I'd suggest the Asus Transformer with dock. 16 hours of battery, great keyboard, 1280x800 screen, honeycomb 3.2. A friend of mine has it and he dropped his ipad like a rock.

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 3 years ago | (#37153016)

FWIW e-readers and tablets are different markets, IMO. While, professionally, I've been considering getting a tablet, there's no doubt in my mind it wouldn't replace my Kindle. A useful tablet is too big, and has entirely the wrong type of screen. It doesn't surprise me you see people on the bus with e-readers, I wouldn't lump them in with tablet owners any more than I'd lump tablet owners in with touchscreen-phone users.

I have to agree with the GP. Of all the people I know, only one - a big Apple fan and graphic designer - actually has an iPad and even that seems to be mostly for show. I know a friend's wife has an iPad, but reportedly doesn't use it that much, and a colleague bought a Nook Color as a cheap Android tablet, something he's brought in once shortly after he bought it but doesn't appear to actually do anything with in real life.

Now I'm not going to go quite as far as to extrapolate that nobody will ultimately use the things to the levels the industry predicts, but my view right now is that they're just not ready for prime time, early adopters are buying them and largely finding they're not as useful as they are slick. And I'm going to make a rather bold claim: given the lack of difference in terms of power and functionality between the iPad and its Android, RIM, and webOS rivals (indeed, by most metrics, one would argue the non-iPad tablets offer considerably greater choices of power, size, and economy), one has to wonder whether the iPad is selling in large part because of the Apple logo, and its rivals aren't selling because... well, it's just not a good concept right now.

The questions for those pushing the things at the moment really revolve in explaining exactly what role they're supposed to have. I'm not sure I've heard an answer yet that doesn't cover functionality people would find better suited to a pocketable touchscreen phone or a netbook. But...

Re:I see tablets all over the place (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37153434)

Hi squiggy! The real reason people buy them is because they imagine scenarios where they can use them, a sort of "wouldn't it be neat if ..."

Just like all those people who bought computers in the beginning "to index their recipes."

"Wouldn't it be neat to surf the web while watching TV?" becomes "Gee, I'm not really enjoying either of them all that much now since they both compete for my attention."

I've seen exactly one person using one - and that was on the subway. He looked uncomfortable trying to balance it on his lap and type, and one good jolt would have sent it to the the floor. He would have been better off with a laptop.

It's like the Wii - a lot of people buy them, but don't use them all that much. The difference is, the Wii was targeted to the casual gamer, and casual gamers aren't going to use it every day, or even every week. And of course, it costs a lot less (down to $125 now) compared to a tablet, so expectations are lower in terms of utility for the buck. Oh, and it doesn't need any sort of network connection ... and it can be used by more than one person at a time ...

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152880)

I keep seeing this post in every article about tablets.  So I have to ask, is this the best troll you could come up with?

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37153558)

I keep seeing this post in every article about tablets. So I have to ask, is this the best troll you could come up with?

Your question would have more credibility if it ended "Posted from my iPad" or "Posted from my Xoom!" or whatever.

I only know one person who's bought a tablet-style computer (a real computer, not a tablet, but a portable computer with a touch screen and detachable keyboard). It's not even on the radar for most people. They have a computer kicking around somewhere, and that's their version of "good enough 'puting". For anything else, they have a phone.

The people making all the hype are the web shops trying to sell customers on "increase your market penetration by developing for tablets!" It's replaced "let us optimize your site to game the search engines" SEO crap.

What people really want is a laptop-sized tablet with all the electronics built into the screen, a flip-down stand, a remote, a detachable or blutooth keyboard and mouse, a full operating system, and the ability to plug in a second display to stretch the desktop, so they can treat it like any other computer when they want to, or use the touch screen when that's all they need to use is a "tablet computer".

Or has everyone already forgotten the collective disappointment when they found out that the iPad ran IOS and not Darwin?

Think of what you could do with something like that with a 17" display that weighed less than a conventional 15" laptop and displayed full 1920 hd.

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 3 years ago | (#37152908)

My previous job had a stack of iPads to lend out for meetings or whatever and I see a lot of people with tablets on the train. They use them mainly for reading and games so arguably they're just glorified kindles but they are buying them and they probably do better with public transportation users than anyone else or so I would believe form my experience. I think the reason you don't see everyone with one is because sadly there is really only one worth buying, the iPad, and not everyone is going to fork the cash over for one.

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153750)

not everyone is going to fork the cash over for one

Because iPads are SO much cheaper than other tablets?

WTF?

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37153084)

I'm posting this on an iPad. My current boss hired me to write the Android sales and catalog software that our reps use in the field. All of them are carrying Acer A500 Android tablets and we buy them by the case. The largest orders our company has ever made have been taken on the tablets and if our sales people are anything to go by, that was a direct result of how easy the tablets have made their jobs and the enthusiasm the customers are showing for buying products through the devices.

This iPad I'm holding is the most elegant computing device I have ever laid my hands on. Everything just flows. It doesn't do everything but for what it does do, the thing is positively addictive. I have a Xoom too and it has some capabilities the iPad doesn't, especially the built in Google stuff is much better than the iPad versions. I'm expecting ice-cream sandwich to match the elegance of the iPad and when it does, there will be two top notch contenders in the marketplace. To specifically address your point, you may not be seeing tablets yet but that probably has something to do with the price for good ones still being somewhat in the luxury realm. When that drops, and it will, expect to see more tablets than anything else.

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153266)

I hate to break it to you, but your company's sales reps probably hate using the tablets. Sure, they'll rave about how great they are in front of you and your boss, since it sounds like he spearheaded the whole damn initiative, but that's just because they want to keep their jobs. Being sales reps, they are good at bullshitting people when it's profitable for them, you know.

In terms of real productivity, your sales reps probably got more done faster when they just used notebook computers, or even filled out paper forms using a pen. They only use them because they'll catch a whole load of shit from management if they go back to doing their jobs efficiently.

Why do I know this? Because I deal with such sales reps, from a wide variety of vendors, on daily basis. Some of them have been forced by their managers to use tablets. So I get to see them struggling to type using on-screen keyboards. I see them struggling to use handwriting-recognition software. I see them getting visibly frustrated. I've even heard some of them say flat out that they hate the tablets, and think that they're shitty. It wastes their time, it wastes my time, and on several occasions it has made me not go through with a purchase just because it's such a stupid ordeal.

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37153514)

Your companies sales reps probably hate the tablets

I'm sorry the reps you've dealt with are having such a hard time. And you're right, it is always possible that mine are blowing smoke when they say they like our system. Consider this though, our tablets are completely optional. We still print paper catalogs, and accept faxed in orders. We have to keep that legacy system since we work with independent sales group companies, we have a website that is actually slightly more up to date (24 hours) than what is on the tablet, and we have an FTP server that hosts all of our catalog pages in PDF form. Despite all of this, I'd say 90 percent of our people use the tablets exclusively.

I wrote the software so let me tell you what problems it solves for them. First of all, we carry upwards of 6000 products (sports apparel and knick knacks) and keeping up with what is in stock, out of stock, etc. On a daily basis with a printed catalog is a nightmare. There is nothing worse than selling a product, having the customer mentally set aside the cash then having to tell them you can't ship that product. With the tablet, they download a diff nightly that is about 6 megabytes and the problem is solved. Also, in the fashion game, trends happen fast then they're gone. Our largest seller this season has been Ugg style boots with various team logos on them. With the tablet, you know what is new and you know it now. There is an icon on the main screen labeled "new products" and another one labeled "best sellers" both automatically generated when the database difff is respun every night. You don't get that with a printed catalog. The tablets are much faster and lighter too. Imagine a 3 ring binder with a thousand pages. Now imagine a stack of them. Now replace that with a 1.5 pound electronic gizmo.

next consider doing the math on an order. Tablet does it for you. Customer database and autofill? Tablet has that. Automatic filing of orders and customer receipt? Tablet. What has this customer bought before? What is their average purchase? When was I here last? Tablet. Tablet. Tablet.

and the bottom line? The customers love it and the spend more money!

So, when can I sign you up? :)

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 years ago | (#37153610)

Total bullshit.

More likely they can't express how much, in words, that they like them, even for sales reps.

You have no clue how easy it is to show what you are doing to someone watching on one, nor how bad it used to be to drag around a huge laptop while trying to find a spot to set the boat anchor down just to demo something.

And tablets are very fast. They are also buggy, every one, but still highly useable.

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (2)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#37153430)

I never see people sitting outdoors using them. I never see people using them while eating lunch or drinking coffee. I never see people using them at my workplace. I never see people using them at the offices of the other companies I visit.

Just guessing, but is braille a significant part of your life?

Re:Does anyone actually use tablets? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 years ago | (#37153530)

Tablets are too expensive.

That should explain why, for the most part. People don't know that they exist. If it wasn't for sites like slashdot I'd not know either.

Ask those around you about why they have not chosen to buy one.

I own two tablets. I use them every day. But I search for other things to do with them. The software just isn't there. Lack of software and high costs are the major stumbling blocks to adoption.

A buddy bought one shortly after I did. Turns out he bought one for his wife also.

Word gets around.

Re:Seriously? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 years ago | (#37152772)

Until MS can enter the market with strong ties and motivation for users to buy multiple MS phones

You buy your Apple ties between products and five of the same phone and I'll pick the best product for the task instead.

K thnx.

Best for Task requires device with choice (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37153238)

You buy your Apple ties between products and five of the same phone and I'll pick the best product for the task instead.

Why is that not the device with the widest range of applications to perform the task?

In the end software trumps hardware.

Re:Best for Task requires device with choice (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 years ago | (#37153716)

Because only 1% of all apps are any good. The rest are just there. There are only a few categories of usefulness. With a walled garden you suffer this more. Android would have fewer apps but its' open nature allows innovation outside the box. It allows for more complete and useful apps. A closed garden where the warden disallows based on arbitrary criteria kills like a parasite. In other words you can't duplicate features so your whole app is outright denied, even if that duplication is superior to those grown by the warden.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152792)

I'd agree if the tablet delay was 2 years. Anything can and has happened in that time, especially within the Android scene. But 1 or 1.2 years isn't quite so long in the mobile hardware world. It's also doubtful that the iPad3 will obliterate iPad2 sales like it did the original. iPad2 should be satisfactory with consumers for a while yet. 2012 will likely look largely the same as it does today.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152882)

Thank you kind fandroid!

Re:Seriously? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#37153454)

Thank you kind fandroid!

Oh, so sorry, but I am not a 'fandroid'. I don't own any Android devices, but I do have an iPhone and a Mac.

As a consultant I need to be informed about what's going on in the 'digital world'. Ignoring Android is not a realistic point of view.

Re:Seriously? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#37153868)

Ignoring Android tablets is probably ok for this year though.

Re:Seriously? (2)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 years ago | (#37153438)

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 the senior of Microsoft which has no realistic technology in today's market.

Re:Seriously? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#37153880)

Android tablets have taken twenty percent of the market from Apple

By shipments or by sales? Big difference.

What about Touchpad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152578)

FIRE SALE! $99 for the 16gb model, and $149 for the 32gb model. I guess HP finally found a way to sell them.

Re:What about Touchpad? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#37152740)

FIRE SALE! $99 for the 16gb model, and $149 for the 32gb model. I guess HP finally found a way to sell them.

Really? HP's website says that they're "Out of Stock" and I haven't found any retailers or online stores actually selling them for $100/$150.

Re:What about Touchpad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152850)

Yeah, they sold out in a matter of hours. At HP's site the 16GB model was $85 after coupon.

Re:What about Touchpad? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 years ago | (#37152950)

I could had bought it.

WebOS and Maemo 5 was risky when generic Android arrived at a similar time.

Maemo 5 was freaking retarded when they only released one product and abandoned it.

MeeGo as far as Nokia goes is utter failure thanks to WP directions and comments from Elop how there would be one device and how the future is WP.

Such awesome management. Worthy Commodore ..

Windows 8 - the new "Hail Mary" (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37152594)

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".

Re:Windows 8 - the new "Hail Mary" (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 years ago | (#37152780)

Funny how there was room for a number 'n' when Symbian, WM, iOS, whatever, was in the lead.

Re:Windows 8 - the new "Hail Mary" (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 3 years ago | (#37152808)

That was before this big app thingy got popular. Unless the popular apps gets ported across the board then we will have a situation where n equals 1 or 2.

I'm not convinced (1)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#37152860)

As far as tablets go, there has yet to be a well designed third option. Once one hits, then we'll see how it plays out. Until then, that there are only two large players (Google and Apple) is really just a function of only two tablet software providers delivering a good enough product.

Re:Windows 8 - the new "Hail Mary" (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37153270)

Funny how there was room for a number 'n' when Symbian, WM, iOS, whatever, was in the lead.

Symbian and WM were developed for the regular mobile phone market - before smartphones existed, and before IOS existed. Attempts to "bolt on" smartphone functionality have failed in the one place it counts - with the consumer, so there never was room for that big a number "n" in either the smartphone or tablet space.

Witness the failure, now going on 20 years, of Microsofts' tablets. Microsoft has been in the tablet biz since 1991, and STILL is saying "next year, next year ..."

Re:Windows 8 - the new "Hail Mary" (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | about 3 years ago | (#37153652)

Symbian and WM were developed for the regular mobile phone market - before smartphones existed, and before IOS existed.

What on earth are you talking about? A mobile phone running a general-purpose embedded OS such as Windows Mobile or Symbian is a smartphone.

theodp summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152596)

After reading theodp's summary with the NASCAR references, did anyone else get an image of his computer having 'STP' and 'Penzoil' stickers on it and a Confederate flag hanging on his office wall?

Next evolution of slashdot (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 3 years ago | (#37152626)

Car analogies in the summaries so you wont have to go to the comments section to understand TFA.

Re:Next evolution of slashdot (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 3 years ago | (#37153338)

Is that like projecting your speed onto the windshield so you don't have to look down at the gauges?

Wishful Thinking (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 3 years ago | (#37152638)

It's not impossible that this happens.

But, seriously, I wouldn't hold my breath neither.

On the other news, maybe a meteor hits Earth in 2012, saving the Tech Industry from fulfilling his foresights...

As much as I hate to admit it, they may be right (0)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37152644)

Google cannot hope to stay relevant if all it allows from the majority of devs are free apps on its market, and since most users don't care to load other markets, devs aren't going to bother with a platform that doesn't let them sell.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 3 years ago | (#37152704)

Google cannot hope to stay relevant if all it allows from the majority of devs are free apps on its market, and since most users don't care to load other markets, devs aren't going to bother with a platform that doesn't let them sell.

Let me get this straight. Developers will not target Android because they have to compete with people writing similar applications for free. So that means that the user will still be able to get the applications they need, but they won't be able to pay for them.

I can see how this would set the platform back.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37152730)

No, get this straight - Android devs should be able to load paid apps onto the default marketplace for apps.

Its all about the developers. MS right now has a weak (from a technical point of view anyway - perhaps the aesthetics are better) platform, with very little technical merit to it. But if the choices are "Sell software on a weak platform", "Give away software on a strong platform", or "find another job", the WP7 and iOS platforms already look better.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 3 years ago | (#37152842)

What do you mean? I see apps with price on the default app store on my Galaxy S, do you mean that this isn't the default apps store? Because I have not added anything. And it doesn't matter if that other platform might look better for the dev who want's to make money, it's all about which platform that looks better for the consumer and if an equal app is available on the free apps market then guess what happens (since in order for your theory to work there has to be a free alternative to the app in question, otherwise there would of course not be an argument over price)!

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37152868)

Yes, you see paid apps in the store, but not all devs are allowed to put paid apps in the store. A minority of countries are allowed. Not many. So, developers who want to get paid for their time have to either do iOS or WP7 apps, as those allow almost anyone to put paid apps in the store.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | about 3 years ago | (#37152974)

And you ignore the benefit of having advertising in your app and hence making money like that.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (2)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37153024)

And you ignore the benefit of having advertising in your app and hence making money like that.

Not everyone's dream is to be a conduit for advertising, and not everyone wants an ad-supported product. In fact, most devs just want to do development, and plenty of people are willing to pay for an ad-free product.

It's unreasonable to ask that devs do more work, open their app UI to a third party *and* waste their users bandwidth simply because they aren't allowed to sell the naked app as it is.

IOW, Google shouldn't be putting up hurdles for no good reason. FWIW, I'd prefer Android development over any of the competition, but why bother if the other platform lets me sell the app but the android platform forces me to give it away and hope that annoying the user with advertisements would make me money.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37153164)

IOW, Google shouldn't be putting up hurdles for no good reason.

Might the cost of complying with 200 different countries' censorship and tax codes be a good reason?

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37153214)

Nope - all the other companies are able to do it, even tiny ones that are essentially YetAnotherAndroidMarket can make payments to me. If MS, Apple, Amazon, Paypal and a plethora of others are able to do it, then Google has no reason.

Especially as they have local offices in my country (AFAIK).

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

Gen_Music (2420986) | about 3 years ago | (#37153830)

Exactly. Tiny companies don't have to have a team of lawyers making sure they don't come remotely cloast ot breaking the lay in the 200+ countries they work in, whereas if XYZ app store did, I doubt anyone would notice. This is Google we're talking about. If it breaks the law it WILL get caught.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#37153672)

IOW, Google shouldn't be putting up hurdles for no good reason.

Might the cost of complying with 200 different countries' censorship and tax codes be a good reason?

Oh, cry me a river! Either Google wants to play in the street with the big dogs, or they need to stay on the porch.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37152980)

But why should one go to WP7 if he can get in a much larger market on iOS?

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37153030)

But why should one go to WP7 if he can get in a much larger market on iOS?

None whatsoever, in fact I'd personally prefer to go with iOS if android is not available. WP7 has some severe limitations.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#37153650)

Google cannot hope to stay relevant if all it allows from the majority of devs are free apps on its market, and since most users don't care to load other markets, devs aren't going to bother with a platform that doesn't let them sell.

Wow! Are you kidding me?

Google doesn't ALLOW devs. to get paid for their work?!?

If Apple did this, Slashdotters would be in the streets with pitchforks and torches.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37153780)

Google cannot hope to stay relevant if all it allows from the majority of devs are free apps on its market, and since most users don't care to load other markets, devs aren't going to bother with a platform that doesn't let them sell.

Wow! Are you kidding me?

I don't kid.

And don't call me Wow! ;-)

Google doesn't ALLOW devs. to get paid for their work?!?

Not unless you're part of a select group of countries. Link to my blog and spread the word. I'm seemingly the only android dev who isn't blinded by fanboyism to the point that I'd keep quiet about it. No one else is making this an issue, and until it becomes news, google aren't likely to fix the issue.
My Blog Takes A Stand [lelanthran.com] (or something :-)). Searching the 'net shows that no one else apparently cares about this, which makes me think twice about which platform I should be targetting.

Frankly, if Apple weren't such douchebags themselves, I'd target their platform much more quickly. Apple won't even answer your questions until you pay them a $99 fee.

Re:As much as I hate to admit it, they may be righ (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 3 years ago | (#37153862)

This has little to do with tablets. Your comments apply to android phones, as the majority of sales are to phone users.

TFA has one really great insight (2)

brokeninside (34168) | about 3 years ago | (#37152650)

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 paradigm.

It's possible that MS might finally get it with Windows 8. Their future success or failure will depend on this far more so than any of the other factors that TFA bring up.

The rest of the article was mostly dreck that seems to assume that most tablet and PC users are power users.

Re:TFA has one really great insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153042)

MS almost had it right in the 90's. Serioulsy. The Vadem Clio was an outstanding 'convertible' tablet that ran Windows CE, had great stylus integration, etc. We (the company I was with at the time) used them by the hundreds with wireless (Proxim FHSS or a PCMCIA CDPD modem) integration and RDP. What a great platform it all was. Somehow MS lost their vision and went in half-a-dozen different directions with their portable OS(s). Oh well, I believe that they lost a huge opportunity there.

Re:TFA has one really great insight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153116)

>

It's possible that MS might finally get it with Windows 8.

Yep, and it's POSSIBLE that monkeys might fly out of my butt. They've been claiming it will be "the year of the MS tablet" every other year or so for more than a decade, and all they ever end up building is "desktop PC wedged into a tablet". Add in the NIH behavior the Windows 8 team will likely have (since it's building on Windows 7 and not WP7) and I expect we'll see something closer to the Kin than the iPad...

Re:TFA has one really great insight (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37153840)

2012 will finally be the year of Windows on the tablet (and the smartphone)!

I keed. I keed.

Re:TFA has one really great insight (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 3 years ago | (#37153320)

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.

Re:TFA has one really great insight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153876)

They also slapped the usual Windows tax, and these devices were quite expensive. So they were afraid of cutting into their own Windows revenues, that a commodization of tablets would, and today finally does require.
Also, ARM cheapness wrt. Intel contributed to it. I'm also not even sure how Atom will be able to compete here (but still this is good for Via's Nano anyhow).
ARm version of Windows will be there, but that again kills off win32 compatibility.

Well. WIndows 8 tables and andorid tablets differ (1)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37152672)

Different applications, different strengths, different weaknesses.

Re:Well. WIndows 8 tables and andorid tablets diff (2, Insightful)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37152688)

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)

Re:Well. WIndows 8 tables and andorid tablets diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153062)

I used to think that improved Xbox/Kinect/XNA support for WP7 (WP8?) could give Microsoft at least some advantage, but WP7 torpedoed that ship by focusing on gay Wii-like games. Epic marketing failure: that's the WinPhone7 [youtube.com] .

What kind of gay? (0)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37153144)

by focusing on gay Wii-like games

gay adj. "Festive, bright, or colourful." -- Wiktionary

Let me guess, you're one of those real is brown [tvtropes.org] types. Yes, Wii games tend to be more colorful than some PLAYSTATION 3 games, but is there anything wrong with that?

Re:What kind of gay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153360)

If they're going for the casual Wii audience, then no. But that doesn't describe the Xbox owners, and the ones I know had expressed great interest initially. Not anymore. Microsoft missed the opportunity to start off strong, now they're paying for it. iPhone has too much headway for casuals to take interest in WP7 gaming.

As a side note, one of the reasons I chose the word "gay" and not "stupid" was because it could be validly interpreted either way.

Re:What kind of gay? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 years ago | (#37153620)

Not only colors. Wii games generally have a softer approach than their cousins on other platforms. There certainly is a more gay-like feeling to them. It's hard to describe accurately.

They have the market covered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152716)

Idiots will use apple and intelligent people will use android, I dont see how windows fits in.

Re:They have the market covered (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37152922)

You're forgetting about Microsoft employees who won't have a choice.

Re:They have the market covered (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37152936)

If Microsoft is clever, it can get the market for paranoid people. Both Apple and Google have a reputation to collect data about their customers. If Microsoft can credibly make their offering more privacy-compatible, they might have an edge.

You say that when MS has been collecting ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153020)

You say that when MS has been collecting data?

Why does your PC phone home every day/hour?

Re:You say that when MS has been collecting ? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37153150)

I haven't used any Windows version Microsoft released in the last decade, so maybe I'm missing something. But I thought that apart from registration (which you can do per phone as well, if you prefer) and Windows Update (which you can switch off if you really want), there was no data exchange with Microsoft (unless you explicitly initiate one, of course).

Oh, and about why my PC (running Linux) phones home every day: It looks into the repositories for updates. And yes, this probably gives the repository server owner more information than Windows Update, because almost all software running on my computer was installed from the repository.

Re:They have the market covered (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 years ago | (#37152964)

If it was better for games and not from Apple then I'm all for it.

Though if it's simple games I don't see why they shouldn't be web apps.

If they are complicated with advanced graphics and such then I could see how Microsoft could one-up especially Android.

Storage limit for web app cache (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37153232)

Though if it's simple games I don't see why they shouldn't be web apps.

Probably because web applications don't run on zero bars of signal unless they're tiny enough to fit into the storage limit for the device's application cache [w3.org] , which on an iPad appears to be as small as 5 MB. A passenger with a Wi-Fi tablet in a vehicle has no Internet connection but can still run native applications.

Talk about fear and desparation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152738)

I can't help but wonder if these pundits aren't on drugs or being paid a whole lot of money to be sock puppets.

You know what, I'm going to predict that they are right, that Windows 8 tablets will be in the top 3. Do you know why? Because now that WebOS has been shut down there are only 3 operating systems left for tablets! Of course, Windows 8 will be so far behind they won't be able to eat the other 2's dust because it can't see them.

See how taking a stupid observation (there are only 3) can be twisted into a sensational prediction of victory (Windows will be in the top 3! Windows will win! Windows uber alles!) Now that HP is getting out of the PC business I can't wait for the slow but inevitable death of Microsoft to come along so we won't have to deal with these marketroids any longer.

Re:Talk about fear and desparation (1)

jk379 (734476) | about 3 years ago | (#37152836)

RIM Still exists at least for now. Thus the vendor count is currently 4.

Re:Talk about fear and desparation (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37152940)

RIM is one step above irrelevance. They're ripe for a takeover bid so one of the big players can scarf up all their patents. While technically accurate, there really are only 3 real players in the market

Re:Talk about fear and desparation (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37153276)

RIM Still exists at least for now.

On tablets?

Re:Talk about fear and desparation (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37153428)

Playbook?

*waits for the laughter to die down

Thank you thank you, don't forget to tip your waiter :-)

No popcorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152848)

This article might be the lowpoint of slashdot.

MS Office, Quicken, Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37152854)

I want to be able to install Office, Quicken, and Photoshop Elements on a tablet. If Microsoft can make it happen and the tablet can squeeze out very good battery life, I would buy it -- probably businesses, too. Right now, tablets are toys for web surfing and playing Angry Birds.

Perhaps that assumes too much (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about 3 years ago | (#37153002)

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 case any M$ offer would probably do worse (they're incapable of making anything trendy anyway). After all, tablets are too large and unwieldy to compete with smart phones, while they don't have any killer apps either to set them apart from smart phones on the one hand, and laptops and PCs on the other. So far, tablets just seem to be rather like smart phones, except with bigger screens (the main attraction) and without the phone. They seem to me to be yet another gadget looking for a reason to exist -- as opposed to a novel solution to an actual problem.

Re:Perhaps that assumes too much (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | about 3 years ago | (#37153508)

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."

Microsoft victorious entrance (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | about 3 years ago | (#37153032)

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

Market already saturated? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#37153038)

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 with a cabled keyboard to save battery.)

I like tablets... I like android tablets. But I think that the market is just about over their initial curiosity of them. If they become useful outside of reading books or watching web sites, then I can expect to see more development of these things. Otherwise, phone-sized devices are best.

Re:Market already saturated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153202)

That doesn't explain why Apple sells every iPad it can produce. Tablets are the next big thing. More and more I see that people have them as their first choice computing, and traditional laptops are something they rarely use any more. Look in classes and coffee shops: iPads are _all over_. People I know who don't have an iPad, want one, just don't have it yet.

It's just Android tablets that are suffering. Apple isn't having any problems: they sell every iPad they can make at the moment and are madly scrambling for more production capacity. Many people think iPads will bring down the traditional Wintel duopoloy.

Re:Market already saturated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153340)

Exactly, it's about teh cool. Back in the 90's, desktops were teh cool. Then it was notebooks. Now it's iPads. I see them all over, but more important, it's what people aspire to own now. That mindshare is HUGE, and it's what scares Microsoft.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37153280)

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.

Re:Market already saturated? (2)

robmv (855035) | about 3 years ago | (#37153788)

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

Of course..... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

allready at least in 3rd (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 3 years ago | (#37153162)

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.

Three Horse Race (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | about 3 years ago | (#37153562)

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 way with the iOS-ification of Lion. This may be a huge mistake to aim for unity between desktop and mobile so early. A unified platform that's compromised stinks on all platforms.

There are advantages for a unified OS to the OS vendor and programmers, but for the user it still isn't clear. That conservative stance will actually help Android in the short term; the attempts to advance are hurting rather than helping MS and Apple right now. On the other hand, if Microsoft or Apple finds that advantage / leverage it could be very bad news for Android that's "only" a mobile platform. Android will be be quickly leveraged to the back of the pack. Short term: this is a liability to aim for unity so early, but it does make me a little nervous when considering the longer term these OS battles are fought that Android is relying on no such advantage being found.

Still nothing will be "decided" with the release of the IPhone 5, windows 8, or the next Ice Cream Tablet. This is a three horse race for three kingdoms over the long haul and all I can say is that this next year will be a very interesting seventh lap rather than the finish line for anyone.

caixa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37153608)

lotofacil [lotofacil.org]
caixa [caixaecono...ederal.net]

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