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Microsoft's Killer Tablet Opportunity

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the claiming-the-prize dept.

Microsoft 282

snydeq writes "Advice Line's Bob Lewis sees ripe opportunity for Microsoft in the tablet market: Forget about outdoing Apple's iPad and give us the features that finally improve the way we work. 'The game isn't beating Apple at its own game. The magic buzzword is to "differentiate" and show what your technology will do that Apple won't even care about, let alone beat you at. One possible answer: Help individual employees be more effective at their jobs,' Lewis writes, outlining four business features to target, not the least of which would be to provide UI variance, enabling serious tablet users to expose the OS complexity necessary to do real work."

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282 comments

Considering who most computer users are these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057683)

...How large is the market for such a tablet going to be?

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (5, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057729)

All of my corporate clients have iPads, yet even the least informed immediately realize the limitations of not being able to run any real desktop or access the company files.. While consumers could care less, businesses will adapt anything that improves productivity while conforming to security's infrastructure.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (5, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057749)

consumers could care less

No they couldn't. Consumers don't care about accessing company files.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057801)

I think you fell victim to an Americanism.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057811)

Whoosh!

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058443)

In case anybody hasn't figured it out, "could care less" is not what GGGP meant. What he actually meant is "couldn't care less," and GGP was pointing that out in a tongue-in-cheek way. What's funny is that people who don't speak English as a first language would probably catch this easily. I'm used to people butchering it so I passed right over it.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058539)

This seems like a useful and fairly succinct description of the problem
What many people forget is that language is defined by it's usage, if a false usage becomes common enough it enter language regardless of logic.

I.E. Steep learning curve

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/could-care-less-versus-couldnt-care-less/

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057915)

"Americanizm"

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058331)

I believe that using American as a synonym for illiterate is not considered politically correct these days...

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058371)

"Theze dayz"

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (1)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058123)

consumers could care less

No they couldn't. Consumers don't care about accessing company files.

What about people in sales department? They are the worst kind of consumers. They need to show to salesmen in other companies how cool and modern they are. And (believe it or not) they need (sometimes) to access company files and to check mail every few minutes.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058249)

Quick let's found a new startup! I have a name: "carify"
No? Doesn't it sound good?! No, wait a minute, don't just walk away like that... hey!

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058347)

Is it just me or do you feel like you are reading microsoft.com lately?

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058421)

You may find this [youtube.com] agreeable.

Sadly, as far as the topic goes: Microsoft had their chance to revolutionize the tablet market, with the Courier [wikipedia.org], and they dumped it in favour of Windows 8. That train has already left the station. It would have completely decimated iPad sales if it had been released; when it appeared, the gadget geeks fawned over it as much as consumers later obsessed over the iPhone 4. Unfortunately MS thought the market segment was too narrow, and Billy G finally dismissed it on the grounds that it didn't have fucking Exchange integration, which is both ridiculous and could have been fixed in a later software patch. It was everything the Newton was, and so much more.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057761)

On the other hand, with a move to more web based applications you can now easily access your data from a device like an ipad...
Plus since the ipad doesn't store any data locally, it's less dangerous should it go missing.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (5, Insightful)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058315)

unless it has automated access to every single aspect of your life.
Like every iPad I have used...

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (4, Insightful)

a_hanso (1891616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057903)

Amen. Plus I know a few business people who bring iPads to meetings, scroll up and and scroll down a few times and then take it back. They do nothing. If you really want a tablet for professionals and business people, make one with a responsive enough stylus with no parallax error.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058079)

Out of all the users in my company, I can think of only 1 or 2 who even understand what a file structure is, much less make use of it. Almost everyone throws everything into the a pile in the My Documents folder. No subfolders. Most users want to be able to get to Excel, Word or any job specific app, and want it to open up to their most recent documents. iPads with keyboards would work great for 99% of them.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (4, Interesting)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058157)

iPads with keyboards would work great for 99% of them.

So actually any notebook, notepad, subnotebook,... would also work great for them...
Actually, 99% of them need only a paper notebook and a telephone.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058269)

All of those, at some time or the other, "worked great for them", but they no longer apply because they don't convey the right image.

You don't get the promotion for being productive - you get it for showing you have the newer toys.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058237)

ipad + onlive desktop = everything you need

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058439)

all my corp clients use SSLVPN (java RDP over https) into their workstations for work. Or logmein. They love them.

Re:Considering who most computer users are these d (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057741)

...How large is the market for such a tablet going to be?

The mobile professionals in need for more muscular arms or faster legs - either carry the extra weight of the batteries or to put the tablet in the dock to recharge it.

UI variance ? (3, Informative)

tqft (619476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057685)

isn't Metro meant to be a one size fits all? And no desktop apps.

So if you come up with a world beating vertical app you have to go thru Microsoft.

Re:UI variance ? (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057977)

No, Metro allows traditional desktop apps, Metro styled apps or even a combination of both at the same time.

Re:UI variance ? (3, Informative)

tqft (619476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058119)

Ah my bad
I misinterpreted this
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/02/windows-8-on-arm-the-desktop-is-there-sos-office-but-not-much-more.ars [arstechnica.com]
"but there was always the possibility that existing desktop applications could be recompiled. That option is now unambiguously eliminated, with Microsoft saying "WOA does not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps." Office is a special, unique case. All third-party applications for WOA will be Metro applications delivered via the Windows Store, and must meet the restrictions imposed on those applications."
Maybe the article isn't the best

Re:UI variance ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058193)

Regretfully, incorrect when it comes to WoArm--i.e. Tablets with Windows. Microsoft has made it quite clear that while you may be able to reach a "desktop" view, you will NOT be able to install any legacy Windows software; you'll have to use a tablet version of the app which itself will have somewhat limited functionality.

Windows 8 on laptops and desktops will be as you describe.

Been there, done that. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057719)

So this bloke is saying we need a full featured tablet that will allow us to do real work with a big screen and lots of CPU cycles.

What kind of power source does he suggest for these tablets, so we can work uninterrupted for hours on end? Nuclear? Cold fusion?

Haven't we been there before?

There's a reason tablets (well, iPads) are specc'ed the way they are. If this idiot knew the secret formula, he'd be making money off it (a la Steve Jobs), not writing stupid shit.

Re:Been there, done that. (4, Insightful)

MrManny (1026106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057795)

I wholeheartedly agree. I believe the merits of these new table devices are their simplicity and, well, lack of thunder underneath their case. That's not to say they are inferior; they are well capable to fulfill their users' needs. But they probably pale if I compare their hardware to my full-featured convertible I bought four or five years ago. I should point out that it was heavy as hell, and its batteries barely survived the three hours mark.

I've also skimmed through what the article proposes. Well, actually, it doesn't propose that much. It's rather vague and I think, the author is oversimplifying many aspects. The devil in the detail might come to bite the author's ass if he ever tried to build such a system. For instance, what's up with the Triple UI approach he described? I don't know how he envisioned the details here, he's a bit light on that, but if it's anywhere near where I suspect he's trying to go (and I'm really guessing here): It may sound good on paper to empower the user with everything, but overconfidence may lead to people breaking stuff.

Re:Been there, done that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058271)

If you ask me, this article is nothing more than an anti-Apple rant, since most of what he describes is fantasy and already rejected on Windows on ARM.

Re:Been there, done that. (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057803)

to provide UI variance, enabling serious tablet users to expose the OS complexity necessary to do real work.

Nah, can't be stupid shit. Sounds too much like someone's resume or some company's "mission statement".

Re:Been there, done that. (2)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058425)

Haven't we been there before?

Not only that, but Microsoft themselves have been there before. At the start of the decade, they were the ones pushing for "tablet computing" as a work-enabling tool.

I'm sure you know how that ended.

        -dZ.

Re:Been there, done that. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058461)

My Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121 has a battery life of ~6--8 hours (this is boosted by a high-capacity battery and having switched to an SSD) --- and I carry a spare. On my last flight to Hawai'i, an iPad user and I ran out of battery life at about the same time (towards the end of the flight), and I simply swapped in my spare....

I'm able to run all the apps I need to (ArtRage, Autodesk Sketchbook, FutureWave SmartSketch, Macromedia FreeHand, Evernote (an old version), TeXshell and w32tex). Bought a wireless keyboard, but I haven't been able to find as nice a case for it as the one for my Stylistic 2300 (which I think represents the high point of case designs --- the harsh environment case was especially nice).

Oh, please.. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057727)

Help individual employees be more effective at their jobs,'

Really? Gosh, Apple would never think of that! How many other vague, handwaving ideas like that can they come up with?

Didn't Microsoft spend about a decade failing to get any traction with their windows tablet PCs before Apple came along and showed them how to do it right?

-jcr

Re:Oh, please.. (5, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057759)

if they really wanted to help employees be more effective at their jobs, they should take away those damn color PCs and tablets and put back the VT terminals.

Re:Oh, please.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057969)

Amen
Amen
Amen
Gad, I miss my vt220.

Re:Oh, please.. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058245)

if they really wanted to help employees be more effective at their jobs, they should take away those damn color PCs and tablets and put back the VT terminals.

The geek thinks geek --- and tries once again to put the genii back into the bottle.

Those who understand the clerical worker and the executive prosper --- Microsoft on the desktop and Apple in mobile devices.

Re:Oh, please.. (2, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057837)

Apple doesn't build devices for businesses, but for consumers. Therefore Apple doesn't care about employee effectivity.

Re:Oh, please.. (4, Insightful)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058241)

All of the Apple employees that come to enterprise business meetings paired up with Verizon and AT&T talking about mobile device management solutions, and how to better integrate iPad and iPhone into your corporate IS infrastructure seem to disagree.

You see what I did there? I alluded to something that is actually happening in the real world, rather than just spouting some one-liner that may have been true 5 years ago, but most definitely isn't the case today.

Re:Oh, please.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058319)

Mod parent up, please! I was actually AT one of these meetings yesterday... Apple, with AT&T, Cisco, ... iOS 1/2 didn't pay much attention to the enterprise - but nowadays, they have a rock-solid solution.

Re:Oh, please.. (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058329)

True, but I did talk to one head of IT recently... he loved his tablet, but hated how to integrate anything Apple into their systems. So you might say it's happening almost despite Apple rather than with Apple. In my impression it's exactly opposite of the PC where people used Windows at home because they use Windows at work. Now they use iDevices at home and want to use iDevices at work.

Re:Oh, please.. (1, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058483)

You didn't get it, did you?

Apple cares not a hoot for the IT manager trying to integrate Apple devices into their infrastructure. They care about the end user of such devices, whom feel empowered and more productive using them.

So this integration is not happening "in spite of Apple," but precisely because Apple devices help the end users be more productive. The integration is the result of this adoption.

You can say that the integration is not Apple's focus. They don't care if you figure out how to integrate the devices into the corporate work-flow or infrastructure--because consumers are buying using the devices, and therefore it's happening whether you integrate or not.

          -dZ.

Bizniz speeick (5, Funny)

wye43 (769759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057859)

TFA in other words:

It is mission critical to have a holistic integration on next generation value-added enterprise, while eating your own dogfood and leveraging the core granular competencies to bring the sustainability to the customers.

Bitch, pahhhleaz!

In Microsoft's defense... (3)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058379)

That was as much about the tablets themselves as it was about the tablet "experience" in the OS.

Yes, WinXP and Vista were NOT "tablet ready" in any real sense of the word. but then again, absolutely NONE of the hardware was really 'tablet ready" either.

I remember working with a "late model" tablet about 6 months before the iPad was announced. This was a top of the line demonstration model that we were testing for possible use in some specialized applications with the company I was working for at the time.

What was this tablet like? Imagine a 14 inch 4:3 resolution screen laptop from that era With the screen mounted directly to what would normally be the keyboard surface, and no keyboard. Just an ordinary laptop, sans keyboard.

It was heavy, bulky and SLOOOOOW. Prone to overheating when put in it's protective case, HOT and uncomfortable to hold when not in it's protective case and just generally difficult to use. And that's BEFORE you even start talking about working with software or the UI of Windows XP tablet edition!

The big "Sea Change" that Apple brought about was as much about the shitty hardware of existing tablets as it was about the inadequate UI. In many cases, it was MOSTLY about the hardware, as the old style win-tabs would turn people totally off before they even booted the damn things up!

In contrast, the Apple iPad was sleek, reasonably lightweight and uncomplicated. The carry-over of the touch and gesture-based interaction from the iPhone made it simple and largely intuitive to use, and it made tablets even more enjoyable to use than laptops or netbooks for surfing and casual use (which is what most consumers do with them anyway.)

So it's no surprise that the iPad did well. To be honest, even if iOS hadn't been ported to the iPad and it had used a more touch-friendly version of OSX it would have been a smashing success based purely on the hardware alone. Loading it with iOS and tying it to the App store just sealed the deal.

Re:Oh, please.. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058511)

I don't know that Apple did it right --- they were successful and sold lots, but if that were the metric for ``right'', Windows would be right and that's wrong --- points where the iPad falters in comparison to my Tablet PC:

  - no stylus --- drawing isn't as responsive, isn't pressure-sensitive in a normal sense of the word and handwriting isn't a pervasive option
  - screen is black in bright sunlight --- my Stylistic has a daylight viewable display and I use it as a map reader when travelling
  - limited app selection --- I can't find equivalents to Futurewave SmartSketch, Macromedia FreeHand, TeXshell and LyX (and AutoDesk Sketchbook and ArtRage aren't as capable on the iPad)

Granted a bit larger and heavier (esp. w/ the high-capacity battery), but Tablet PCs failed on price and marketing more than anything else save possibly battery life (and that is hugely improved by using an SSD).

Of course, I'll probably replace my Stylistic w/ an Axiotron Modbook, but I'll have to wait for it to need replacing....

William

VMware's got an app for that (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057757)

Vmware's got an app for that: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vmware-view-for-ipad/id417993697?mt=8

as a "corporate" user (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057769)

I will say that, in my experience, the current crop of tablets aren't great at data input in the corporate environment.

I want something that I can write on with a stylus and it will, at the very least, sync to my outlook and preferably my document management system (Hummingbird DM, which to be fair is probably 10 years old now).

Re:as a "corporate" user (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057839)

I'll have to join in here too. I've looked at getting a tablet and so far I cannot see them as being a tool for being productive or very good at games more complex than Angry Birds. I can't see the reason why I need to own one yet. The ipads are a lot of money for an interactive web screen. Plus all the commuter I see holding them on the train look really uncomfortable especially when typing with them on their knee. So my genuine question is to people reading this is: How are they better than a laptop day-to-day? Or are they just what they seem to be - a really cool gadget to read pages, use basic media and write short comments.

Re:as a "corporate" user (3, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057925)

Don't have a full blown tablet I use the ipad mini aka Apple Touch.
Usage wise they are as you said a cool gadget for consumming content and writing short comments. If you want to produce content get a laptop.
That said they are great for traveling and if I was still in a job where I was spending a good portion of the month in a hotel I would have purchased a full blown tablet and carried that around with me in addition to my laptop.

The Tablet is an inbetween (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057945)

Early radio phones, even early mobiles were a disaster to use. A car phone wasn't always just your mobile in your car, it was a major installation.

Early mobile phones came in a suitcase. So... where did you leave all the stuff in your normal case? Carry 2 suitcases? Not very high powered right?

But tech progressed and right now with bluetooth headsets and voice dialing we are getting damned close to the perceived convenience of Star Trek communicators.

I think tablets are a dead end. The future is retina displays and neural input. It is obvious really, holding a screen and a keyboard in whatever combinations just ain't convenient. Laptops ain't any better, we just got used to their inconvenience. If you see some people type on a phone, you can easily forget just how fucking akward it is to use... but we move on.

I think tablets are the very early ancestors of anywhere computing. Not anywhere as in anywhere I sit down but anywhere as in on the move. Not traditional computing work tasks such as writing a document or doing design, but informational and entertainment computing. Google maps has completely replaced my need for a map. I used to have several. Recently threw them out. Don't need them. Not that I use Maps all that often but that is the real convenience, when I need it, it is right there, up to date and ready to use.

Music, movies and games. We used to have to sit down to play them or bring very specialized travel sets with us. With a phone/tablet, you can play almost any game, wherever you want, when you want. Yes, they are akward and simplistic and underpowered. But that will chance. I still got an old phone that can play snakes, compared to that, modern mobile games are a million times better. NEITHER is yet anywhere as convenient and reliable as old LCD games or as rich and powerful as PC games but... getting there.

I remember the Walkman... it was all the rage for a while and then it died. It wasn't until years later that personal audio made a come back with the portable MP3 player. Why?

Walkman's just weren't convenient with their tapes, it takes a lot of work to mix a tape and then you have the same limitted tracks in the same order unless you bring bulky tapes (check tape size vs MP3 player). Only the hardcore persisted, some bought mini-disc but the majority didn't bother.

Now the MP3 player is back with a vengeance.

I see a LOT of people with iPads that barely use them, they just ain't that comfortable to use right now or all that useful but that will change. Those cheap nasty headphones of the walkman (orange foam pads) have evolved into in-ear buds and massive headphones depending on taste. Tablets will evolve too. How? If I knew that I would be to busy being filthy rich to post on slashdot.

Re:as a "corporate" user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058235)

Six or eight months ago I got the bug for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since purchase usage has dwindled down to using Calender, Maps when I'm on the road,
and browser for surfing when I'm waiting to see my doctor. Average of usage of an hour per month tops. I use my laptop for anything "serious" like paying bills
online or answering email. It an expensive toy.

Why Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

wrook (134116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057777)

Reading the article I get the impression that this guy would like emacs org mode. Very similar ideas. The added bit is that he wants to embed other files in the document. And to top it all off instead of using a file as an outline, he wants to use a file system. That way you don't have to embed anything. It's just a normal file.

In spite of myself, I think it's a brilliant idea. I'm not sure why he thinks Microsoft will understand it. This is a Un*x idea through and through. Use the file as the lowest level metaphor in the system. Build tools that allow you to operate efficiently on files. I don't think it would be very difficult to implement. And I don't think it has anything to do with tablets. It's just a good idea period.

"Real work" ? (5, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057793)

enabling serious tablet users to expose the OS complexity necessary to do real work.

Isn't the "real work" stuff like the "true Scotman" ?

Re:"Real work" ? (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057901)

It's a very useful term... for filtering out the pointless rantings of myopic sysadmin types. Guess what, "real work" guys: most work in the world is not batch processing text files! Strange but true.

Re:"Real work" ? (1)

ocratato (2501012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058155)

Just curious, but what sort of processing do you consider to be "real world"?

My previous job for 12 years was maintaining a system for a large govt department that was mostly batch processing text files, with a little bit of image processing for good measure.

Re:"Real work" ? (0)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058289)

It is real work, I never said it wasn't. It just isn't the only "real work" that goes on, even on computers. Not by a long shot. The term"real work" mostly seems to be used by myopic arrogant jerks, that's my point. Ie. "GUIs are fine if you're just checking Facebook or whatever, but real work is done in a CLI".

Here's a mirror to look into (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058207)

It's a very useful term... for filtering out the pointless rantings of myopic office workers. Guess what, "real work" guys: most work in the world is not sitting in front of a keyboard.
Now do you understand how ridiculous the above post, my little twist on it and any "real world" bullshit putdown is? People do stuff other than your own paticular job you know and that does not make them worthless.

Re:Here's a mirror to look into (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058303)

Strange, you seem to agree with me, but call my post ridiculous. Either you're confused or I am.

Re:"Real work" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057935)

Aye. But some of us due play the pipes for a living.

Any Tablet that can offer features wins (1)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057807)

Any tablet that allows the user to be more productive, secure, and enjoyable will win, not only Microsoft. The tablet should not be the selling point, the applications needed should be. The thing the base tablet offers is security, and platform. Too many people are "STATUS" oriented, so they pick iPad.

It is the APPS that make the system!

Re:Any Tablet that can offer features wins (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057853)

"Too many people are "STATUS" oriented, so they pick iPad.

It is the APPS that make the system!"

I love how you contradict yourself.

People pick iPad because it has the apps. android has almost nothing right now in apps. It's why you see businesses with iPads on the hands of everyone and NOT galaxy Tabs.

The android devs are getting there, but they only recently have had decent hardware to work on as android tablets from a year and a half ago were garbage.

But right now it's not "status" like you trollishly proclaim, but its the APPS.

Call me when I can send the display output from my android tablet wirelessly and effortlessly to the plasma on the wall in the board room. Because that is another killer feature of the ipad in business.

Re:Any Tablet that can offer features wins (2)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058337)

Um, I've only been in the Android market for a few months, but sending anything to anything was already there when I opened the box on my S2.

Streaming video over WiFi was a breeze. Sure, my shite TV hasn't got WiFi but plenty of others do. Streaming video to my laptop with HDMI output is too easy.

Re:Any Tablet that can offer features wins (2)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057891)

Too many people are "STATUS" oriented, so they pick iPad.

It is the APPS that make the system!

Doesn't the Apple App Store have a largest number of apps, though?

I know, it's a coincidence. Those people who picked Apple couldn't possibly have done it for any reason other than to look cool...

Re:Any Tablet that can offer features wins (3, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058023)

Android devs have only had something decent to work with for the last 12 months, and there are already many times more useful business apps on the android market than in the apple market, despite there being far less apps in total and having had less time to develop them.

The iPad is a status toy, anyone who thinks otherwise is just trying to fool themselves.

Microsoft's killer phone opportunity (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057819)

You could say the same thing about their handset opportunity, or their MP3 player opportunity, or before that their PDA opportunity.

They have no special advantage here, they're late to market, they have a sort of half baked touch / non touch solution coming out, their software is generally badly regarded, their prices too high, second class maps, second class webmail, second class search.

Anyone of those could be a disadvantage, but to have them all in one package.

Put it this way, I wanted to track my stocks, I am normally a Visual C++ programmer, but I decided to write it in Java for android. It's just easier runs more stable for longer and the interface is better with touch. I would previously have written that for Windows, but there's too much C#, Silverlight, god knows what garbage on Windows. So Microsoft will go away soon enough.

But not yet, because it was still Eclipse on Windows that I wrote the app in, there isn't a good Android PC yet, big screen keyboard, port of eclipse. All of these would be trivial to do, but they haven't happened yet. So the end result is inevitable, it will just take time.

Uneducated advice line guy... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057835)

Advice Line's Bob Lewis needs to learn about computers. There has been windows tablets available for over 20 years. he has been able to go out and buy a Windows Tablet for years.

Hell right now even the new Fujitsu Stylistics are nearly the same price as ipads.

So what is this guy whining about? the fact he has not even bothered to look?

get in touch with reality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057919)

Microsoft couldn't build an effective tablet to save it's life. MS can't innovate or make anything user friendly. No doubt it would just be a carbon copy of all tablets, which use apple's interface, or if they tried their own way you'd get those lovely cascading menus they are famous for. Remember windows CE? what a nightmare.

How about appealing to professionals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057927)

One annoying thing was having a tablet that doesn't support pens as in pressure sensitive and more accurate than drawing with a sausage like pen for iDevices. They came up with this wonderful device then severely limit it by providing few input options. Not keyboard or pen friendly. Outputting all but impossible. Expansion is impossible. Best of all no support for desktop apps. Obviously that was at least in part a processor issue. The problem with the iPad is it's limited by design. In ten years it'll be largely the same device. As processors and batteries get better desktop apps will be possible but it's doubtful they will be supported by iPad since it'd require a major design overhaul since it's largely a closed device. Their only option is to come up with a brand new device that is a cross between an iPad and an Airbook. Ultimately it makes the device a dead end since there is no room for expansion. Apple also is hesitant to expand it in any way other than processor speed. Years ago they hit the 64 gig ceiling and seem to have no intention of adding to that. It's frustrating because I could put nearly twice the films and TV episodes on a 128 gig. I just find with 64 gig I still end up dragging a lot of films on and off it I'd rather leave on it. Charge a $100 more and give us the option of another model.

My killer tablet (5, Interesting)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057933)

Tablets have been called a niche item since the days of Tablet PCs - my killer tablet? What I have been crying for all along, a digital artist's tablet. This means a higher resolution screen (better than 1280x800 - try more like a full 1080p screen resolution so that most programs will work in portrait - and preferably in a 4:3 format), dedicated graphics (many digital art programs benefit from this), a Wacom digitizer, and a dual battery design so you can carry a couple of extra cells and swap them out without having to power down.

That is the problem most Tablet PC manufacturers made. They thought they could make a device for the business world that would replace the very low cost and versatile pen/pencil and paper. No tablet will ever be as thin as paper, so carrying a dozen tablets and spreading them out will never work (and there are many times when people want to look over several sheets at once and "100% zoom"). However, if they had focused on the artist and the art student, created a series of specialty pens that had the look and feel of traditional media (a square "charcoal/pastel stick", a fine brush, a wide brush, etc) then marketed it as "get unlimited art tools and supply for only $1500, and carry your entire studio in you bag" or "never worry about using hazardous chemicals to clean up, just click save and go" then they might have had a chance.

Anyway, there is my take on it. You want to differentiate yourself on the market? Think who would benefit from a pen input and design the system around them. I don't want an over-bloated eReader with LCD screen. I don't want a dumbed-down laptop. I don't want a walled garden of apps that only some single company wants to restrict myself to. I don't want a giant smartphone that doesn't work as a phone. I want a portable digital art studio, and I do believe that pen input tablets are the ideal solution. A shame not one company had the foresight to create one.

Re:My killer tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058003)

not portable, but have you looked at wacom's clintiq screens?

They do all the stuff you mention other than being portable

Re:My killer tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058091)

They are very good for what you do.

If you are a graphics artist in an advertising company, they are probably perfect. If you're painting the sunset from a hilltop, not so much. That's where a "Cintiq tablet" would find it's market.

Re:My killer tablet (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058463)

Cintiqs are nice for what they are, but the lack of portability kills them for a lot of working artists. It's like telling someone that a device is "like an iPad, but not portable". Ugh. The combination of a Cintiq + a laptop is clunky and awkward to carry around and use; you might as well just get one of those god-awful TabletPC "convertibles" with the rotate-and-flip screens. There have been a few Windows slates (i.e. no integrated keyboard) that are sort of suitable for use as a drawing tablet, but they suffer from small screens (the cult favorite HP TC1100 has a 10-inch display) and pre-iPad product design and engineering.

Re:My killer tablet (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058069)

And this would cater to a tiny fraction of art students - of which there are not that many. Tiny market, tiny chance of it happening. Buhey, start a kickstarter thing and see how far you get. Who knows, maybe art students actually do have money!

Re:My killer tablet (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058389)

"Art students" tend to turn into "professional artists" and spend more time (and money) as such than they do as students.

Re:My killer tablet (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058263)

I use my IBM/Lenovo X60t for this purpose. To me, it is a high-end laptop (Intel core duo with 4 Gb of RAM and a 256GB SSD). Although by today's standards it is low-end. It is more than sufficient for me to code, access servers and connect to network devices. Thanks to the larger battery it can run over 3 hours on a full charge. With the big battery, it weighs slightly over 3 lbs. I transport it in my panniers on my bicycle.

From an artists perspective it has a 12.1" WACOM screen with a pressure-sensitive stylus input (XGA+ and 1400x1050 res), and under ubuntu 10.04 LTS, I can use inkscape, and gimp operating exclusively in portrait mode (although I can switch to whatever orientation suits me). I can draw on it pretty well, but still prefer pen and ink, a drawing board and a GIANT peice of paper. It is great for a digital artist, but I don't think it will replace paper-media for art. I do use it as a paper replacement for note-taking with xournal.

Bear in mind this device is over 5 years old. They never fully took off like the IPAD did, but the newest model (with Intel Core i7) is available today. If you are interested in the Lenovo Tablets, I'd suggest and EBAY search for an X60T. They are quite inexpensive at this point or if you have lots of money, go for the newest one. I wonder what an i7 does to battery life though....

Feel free to ping me directly if you want to work on pen-tablet-art software for Linux. I love this platform and am sticking with it. I don't know if the rest of the world will join us though.

Re:My killer tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058333)

A failure to design a product to your specs is not the same as lacking foresight. What you want isn't necessarily marketable for any company rushing to keep the lights on, or they are missing a great opportunity. Pitch your idea around.

PCs and tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39057953)

If they really wanted to help employees be more effective at their jobs, they should take away those damn color PCs and tablets and put back the VT terminals.

kompositfönster [fonsterfonster.se]

Printing (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058001)

A true enterprise class printing capability would do wonders for this effort.

AirPrint? Really?

face meet palm (4, Interesting)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058029)

Apple makes gorgeous meticulously designed products that make people's lives easier.

To combat this, apparently Microsoft needs to produce something that will make employees more effective at their jobs.

Re:face meet palm (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058233)

Apple makes gorgeous meticulously designed products that make people's lives easier.

To combat this, apparently Microsoft needs to produce something that will make employees more effective at their jobs.

No. You're making the same mistake that Steve Ballmer often seems to make. This isn't about "combating" Apple. It's about market opportunities for Microsoft. Following Apple into the consumer market probably isn't a good move for Microsoft. Producing something targeted at business needs probably is. That isn't because targeting business needs will lead to them reducing Apple's sales, or even to them outselling Apple, it's because it is likely to lead to more sales and profits for Microsoft than they would otherwise have.Talking about "combating" someone else's success is hideously stupid.

Apple is already doing it all (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058033)

Tablets do not represent a tool for longer term intensive use. They are for entertainment, casual computing and casual web-surfing. For that that perform very well. However, this is the only thing you can do well with a limited UI, namely no keyboard, no mouse, and limited power, but more screen-area than a smartphone. Apple already has all of these covered and in addition has the "lifestyle" factor so critical for a device you do not really need.

Microsoft is a has been (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39058041)

The majority of its relevance is on stupid corporations stuck in IE6 land and Xbox fanboys. Sure people use Windows for games but Apple kicked them hard with phones and tablets. Linux also messed up with Gnomity. I really hate to say this, but even the goatse trolls like the taste of Apple kool-aid. Windows on arm is a joke already, plus Microsoft has been messing about for years with x86 tablets only for the iPad to beat them.
.

kinetic (1)

fok (449027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058047)

Two kinetic sensors (back and front). That would be nice...
Plus, TS, CIFS and binary compatibility capabilities.

Screen size and ergonomics (1)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058099)

To do effective work you eventually need a large screen space - maybe go VR ... who knows?
While they are at it, make ergonomic devices - can't imagine the number of neck, back and wrist problems there will be after all that hunching over iPxxx devices.

X Server ? (2)

ocratato (2501012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058103)

How about a tablet that just runs an X server - like the old X-Terminals?

For the business user they should have plenty of access to servers to run the software on - Linux or Mac.

Users are not currently expecting to run Windows on tablets so now is the ideal opportunity to get another product out there.

"...to do real work." (0)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058139)

You mean like accepting credit card payments and signatures with the device, right?

You want me to trust a Microsoft device with my credit card number?

Their track record! ... I! ... Ugh! ... I'm speechless! ... Ghah! Let me start over! ...

Look, I support a persons right to get high smoking marijuana if they want, but I sort of have to draw the line when they start injecting stuff into their veins.

-- Terry

killer tablet _opportunity_? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058205)

i'm quite certain plenty of people were killed (likely suicide) while trying to use Microsoft Tablet PC [wikipedia.org] and it's ill conceived notion that a stylist and a mouse are the same.

They already did that... (4, Informative)

majesticmerc (1353125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058301)

Microsoft already had a tablet that would make employees potentially much more productive. It was called Courier [wikipedia.org], the internet was crying out for them to make it, and they cancelled the whole project.

Mmmm buzzwords.... (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058321)

Could you spew out some more buzzwords and corporate-speak in that summary? I haven't got my fill yet.

Pundits are morons. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058375)

Where do they dig up these mouth breathers?

First off, I neary tuned out when he made,a dismissive jab at the iPad calling it fashionable. Cute. Real professional.

Then I started to tune out when he started to drown in corporate double speak about workflows that do not represent reality.

Err. What? I want the minute of my life back.

go after the artists (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058385)

This is the hardware manufacturers' bailiwick as much as Microsoft's, but if someone wants to sell tablets to the visual arts profession, a lightweight 17-inch device that can run apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Manga Studio, with a precision pressure-sensitive stylus, would make a lot of them overlook the fact that it's Windows instead of OS X or iOS. When the iPad came out, I heard artist after artist who thought it was going to be a great productivity tool, only to be disappointed that it's limited to finger painting* and smaller than a letter-size sheet of paper. A lightweight 11x14 screen that you can draw on effectively would quickly become as ubiquitous in trendy coffee shops as MacBook Airs.

*Yes, there are styluses that work with it, but they're nothing more than very pointed fingers, because they don't register pressure or angle.

A very compelling solution (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39058491)

If Microsoft can produce a tablet which works with a nice metro interface when you lug it around but can fall back to a classic mode, e.g. when plugged into a dock then they have a very compelling little device. You get something which is a tablet and a PC all in one without some of the limitations of previous attempts. That's assuming the device can run legacy Windows apps, i.e. we're talking about something powered by an x86 compatible chipset, not ARM.

I think the ARM story is less compelling. If a tablet doesn't support legacy apps then why care if its running Windows at all? There are lots of decent Android tablets to choose from as well as the iPad. Even if MS release tools to recompile apps against ARM, how many vendors are going to bother? Especially if Microsoft forces them to offer their apps through a storefront as seems fairly likely.

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