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HP Continuing To Flee Windows Reservation With Android Tablet

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the we're-outta-here dept.

Google 124

Nerval's Lobster writes "Hewlett-Packard seems more determined than ever to flee the Windows reservation, unveiling a $170 Android tablet, the HP Slate 7. It runs Google Android 4.1, the first version of the 'Jelly Bean' build, which has been ever so slightly outdated by the recent release of Android 4.2. This isn't the first time in recent memory that HP's opted for a Google product over one offered by longtime partner Microsoft. As it helpfully pointed out in a press release, HP has produced a Chromebook running Google's Chrome OS, a largely cloud-dependent operating system for laptops and notebooks. Built around Google services such as Gmail, Chrome OS also offers access to the Chrome Web Store, an online storefront for apps. If HP and other manufacturers increasingly adopt Google's offerings over Windows, it could cause some consternation among Microsoft executives. Microsoft, of course, is pushing Windows 8, which is meant to run on tablets and traditional PCs with equal facility. If it wants the Windows division to continue as a cash cow, it needs manufacturers to adopt that operating system in massive numbers. Android and Chrome OS could make that strategy a lot more difficult."

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First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009355)

On a Mac :/

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010673)

lol, faggot

UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (5, Interesting)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009359)

I cannot help but wonder if UEFI is now Microsoft's backup plan to force casual PC users into Windows 8. There seems to be some resistance (the degree of which is debatable) to Windows 8 adoption. Perhaps users will, in the end, still be forced into Windows 8 if they lack the know-how to use alternate OSes?

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009447)

It would only work by bribing all the vendors... and that would likely cost more than even MS pockets can stand.

Besides, MS has already insulted the Asian manufacturers, so why would they go out of their way to help MS?

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (2)

unrtst (777550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010281)

It would only work by bribing all the vendors...

Or just enough of the big ones that production and support costs for the alternatives fail to meet similar economies of scale.

and that would likely cost more than even MS pockets can stand.

Wrong. It essentially costs them zero. They just need to offer a discount on the Windows OS licenses (and/or other software/hardware/etc). Even if said discount doesn't seem to matter, it does matter in relation to the competition. It's not like we don't have evidence that this has happened in the past, and there's even a better chance of it happening now since they're not as much of a "monopoly".

Besides, MS has already insulted the Asian manufacturers, so why would they go out of their way to help MS?

Because it's what they're being paid to do. How did they insult them anyway, and when has that mattered as long as they're the ones making everything and getting paid for it?

FWIW, I don't think UEFI (actually, restricted boot, aka secure boot) changes much as far as the common users ability to install an alternate OS... most people don't care enough to learn how, even without anything in their way. There appear to be ways around it in all cases so far AFAICT. That said, I think it WILL have an effect on the number of users running dual boot, and maybe even some that planned on running an alternate OS almost all the time. Every little annoyance when not doing as you are told will make it less interesting to do otherwise; and making sure that it's still *possible*, and even providing docs to do so, will mean that people will be less likely to actively oppose it.

Imagine the number of times you might need to boot up a netbook-ish thing to check something really quick. If it takes an extra 30 seconds to boot the alternate OS, you'll probably do the path of least resistance (NOTE: this is in reference to the Chromebooks, but it's a similar issue, and all they seem to say is, "if you don't like it, don't buy it", while at the same time saying their commitment is to think of the user first, which is BS).

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010385)

That said, I think it WILL have an effect on the number of users running dual boot, and maybe even some that planned on running an alternate OS almost all the time.

Why would it impact them in that case?

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

unrtst (777550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010863)

That said, I think it WILL have an effect on the number of users running dual boot, and maybe even some that planned on running an alternate OS almost all the time.

Why would it impact them in that case?

Because they're the ones that aren't 100% committed to Linux or an alternate OS, and they are not only OK with running windows, but choose to do so often enough that they keep it available in dual boot. If restricted boot makes it more difficult to add linux in there as dual boot, it's very very likely to turn off at least some of those people. How many, I don't know.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010999)

Because they're the ones that aren't 100% committed to Linux or an alternate OS, and they are not only OK with running windows, but choose to do so often enough that they keep it available in dual boot.

So? It doesn't matter that people aren't '100% committed to an alternative OS', in fact the best scenario is that they not be 100% committed to any OS.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

unrtst (777550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012471)

So? What point are you trying to make?

My point was that Microsoft can "afford" (even if it isn't done with a cash transaction) to manipulate the market in favor of a restricted boot that favors their OS. Add to this that they have done similar things in the past. Add to this that restricted boot significantly increases the difficulty / technical expertise need to install an alternate OS (including an older release of windows, which was more-or-less the GGGGP's point).

Going on the premise that:
* a certain activity has a certain barrier to entry (be it technical know how, commitment to doing it, time, effort, money, etc)
* there are people on both sides of that barrier, and some sit on the fence so-to-speak
* restricted boot moves the barrier, making it more difficult / requiring more time / whatever

Then it is likely that:
* Fewer people will be crossing that barrier.

rs1n said it well, "Perhaps users will, in the end, still be forced into Windows 8 if they lack the know-how to use alternate OSes?"

For those that were barely able to get dual booting working before on a standard BIOS, restricted/secure boot may be a big enough hurdle to dissuade them from doing so on these new machines.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012345)

The playing one against the other thing used to work. The thing is that making Android devices turns profits for the OEMs lately and making Windows client devices hasn't for the last 10 years. The WPC market has been Dellified, raced to the bottom, and there it will stay. Microsoft is fine with their OEMs cutting each others' throats until they grow too few or one grows too strong, and then they nurture some contenders and hold calls on the dominant one so that the fight will stay fresh and even and retain their dominion over the combatants.

Now that we don't have to play in their colluseum by their rules there will be change. For a little while at least there will be profits on average in the new mobile realm. In the meantime there will be progress so swift it will be awesome to behold, as the new feature drives more profit. There will be more choices as vendors seek the mix of features that deliver the most profit amongst trillions of possibilities.

Casual PC users (4, Insightful)

snadrus (930168) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009673)

That's an interesting term here. Guesses:
- Light-duty (email, read-heavy web): Best served by Chromebook & tablets:
        They're cheaper & easier to maintain.

- Upgraders wanting things like before: Likely to defect to the above group.

- Businesses: Bound to their software, & likely can hold-out until next version
        May try moving to HTML5 cloud software for less administration, but gain OS choices.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009713)

I cannot help but wonder if UEFI is now Microsoft's backup plan to force casual PC users into Windows 8. There seems to be some resistance (the degree of which is debatable) to Windows 8 adoption. Perhaps users will, in the end, still be forced into Windows 8 if they lack the know-how to use alternate OSes?

How is that be any different to the way things are now?

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (3, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009945)

I cannot help but wonder if UEFI is now Microsoft's backup plan to force casual PC users into Windows 8. There seems to be some resistance (the degree of which is debatable) to Windows 8 adoption. Perhaps users will, in the end, still be forced into Windows 8 if they lack the know-how to use alternate OSes?

How is that be any different to the way things are now?

More telling is the fact that to the casual observer (e.g. drooling idiot user), Windows 8 already is an "alternate OS". Which sort of leaves them between a rock and a hard place.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012383)

How is that be any different to the way things are now?

Before UEFI and SecureBoot if a business wanted to load an alternative OS on their client PCs it was a simple matter. It has become more difficult. The increase in difficulty is a deliberate attempt to prevent migration. Just the fact that a software vendor is employing its market leverage to make migrating off of their software nigh impossible through technological means should blacklist them from consideration in the enterprise environment. Working with someone who does that is not in your best interest. They want to own you, your data, and your future and if you build on that you will live in their chains for all subsequent generations.

This is a boat to not get on. It leads to the New World, but you'll be farming cotton.

Huh? (4, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010103)

UEFI can and has been booting Linux, Windows 7, Vista (with limitations), and OSX (significant limitations).
If by 'UEFI', you mean 'SecureBoot', then on x86 platform, so far, I'm willing to believe that malware mitigation is at least part of it (though I question the efficacy), but I think it's giving them, mostly, the facility to lock out competitors on MS 'subsidized' devices like Surface.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010191)

but I think it's giving them, mostly, the facility to lock out competitors on MS 'subsidized' devices like Surface.

I suspect that if that were the case then they would have prevented SecureBoot from being turned off on the Surface Pro, but they didn't, you can turn it off and install Linux on it if you want.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010609)

but they didn't

Yet.

This is the extend phase.

Re:Huh? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010727)

but they didn't

Yet.

They can't retroactively do it either.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010825)

They can't retroactively do it either.

The hell they can't! They're the key-holders, they can up-end the situation any second t hey choose.

Re:Huh? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011007)

The hell they can't! They're the key-holders, they can up-end the situation any second t hey choose.

How? ...or was that whoosh that i missed? ;)

Re:Huh? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013053)

They can't retroactively do it either.

The hell they can't! They're the key-holders, they can up-end the situation any second t hey choose.

They won't, even if they could. They don't need to - you've already bought Surface and Windows.

Re:Huh? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011573)

Not to existing devices.

But once the frogs appear used to the warmth, the heat will be turned up and they'll be extinguished.

Re:Huh? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011853)

Not to existing devices.

But once the frogs appear used to the warmth, the heat will be turned up and they'll be extinguished.

What is it you think they are trying to Embrace, Extend and Extinguish? Your conspiracy theory makes no sense, they can't retroactively disable the ability to boot Linux on Surface PCs and if people are using Surface devices to run Linux and then Microsoft releases a Surface that cannot run Linux then people who want to run Linux will just buy another device.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011933)

Now you're just trolling.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43012281)

No; you're just retarded.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011773)

Yes, they can. Hierarchical authentication is built into Trusted Computing at every level, along with key replacement and ultimat control by Microsoft as the central key holder.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011609)

This is simply to allow downgrades to Win 7. Wait five years.

Re:Huh? (1)

fbobraga (1612783) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013409)

+1 Informative!

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012165)

If it's worth knowing people will know.

And people know how to install windows 7 on UEFI enabled devices. All of the manufacturers saw windows 8 as a potential train wreck for the industry, and saw Surface as direct competition to themselves, and they want to hedge their bets. If windows 8 had been a huge hit with consumers they would have sucked it up and sold devices competing with MS that they weren't happy with. But Windows 8 is doing relatively poorly it seems like, so all of these back up plans are coming out the door. Especially when you've got an order for 10 million touch screen panels, you need to put something on them, and customers don't want windows 8.

Disabling UEFI isn't magic. It's not even hard. Most users don't want to (and probably shouldn't) install their own OS anyway, they ask someone who knows how to do it, or they follow a guide on line that's good enough. UEFI is irrelevant in the marketplace. On the PS4 and Xbox 3 it might matter, as they'll both use something similar to outright block other operating systems than approved ones, but that's a different business anyway.

Re:UEFI and Windows 8 strategy (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012313)

That is the plan. It would have been a good plan six years ago. Now it just makes the flag logo a warning: this is stuff that doesn't play well with your other stuff. Sort of like the Sony logo, come to think of it.

I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009363)

Sensationalism at its best. Almost everyone makes android tablets. I am no MS fan but I am even less a fan of sensationalism just to get some people to read your bogus stories. Just read the title and felt I had to comment.

Sensationalism in /. (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009513)

Sensationalism at its best. Almost everyone makes android tablets. I am no MS fan but I am even less a fan of sensationalism just to get some people to read your bogus stories

As a long time visitor to /. I have to concur with what you have said

What is the most unfortunate is that the editors seem to agree with this type of unhealthy yellow-journalism

HP is merely making another attempt into producing Android tablets. It's only a business decision, that's all !

Re:Sensationalism in /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43013155)

What is the most unfortunate is that the editors seem to agree with this type of unhealthy yellow-journalism

Dice Holdings hired editors? Slashdot has never had "editors" before, just submission queue approval monkeys that don't even read their own site.

Re:I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009669)

Sensationalism? And duplicate articles? [slashdot.org] In MY slashdot?

It's more likely than you think!

Re:I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010957)

> Sensationalism at its best. Almost everyone makes android tablets.

So you're basically agreeing with the "sensationalist" headline.

PC vendors are finally straying from Microsoft.

It doesn't matter how you try to spin it. It still comes out the same. Microsoft's grip on consumers as computer users is waning. It took something that looks nothing like a PC, but it finally happened.

Re:I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011029)

So you're basically agreeing with the "sensationalist" headline.

PC vendors are finally straying from Microsoft.

I suppose english may not be your first language but straying != fleeing, using the latter where the former is far more appropriate most certainly is sensationalist.

Re:I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011137)

Agreed. They make it sound like HP isn't still churning our loads of real computers running windows.

Re:I would hardly call it Fleeing!! (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012285)

The phrasing is sensationalist and overt the top, but the point does still stand. HP is one of the biggest Windows shops there is. Microsoft now has not one but three OSs for touchscreen devices (Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone). Instead of opting for one of these for their new tablet, HP went for Google's product instead.

That's hardly a vote of confidence in Windows 8/RT's ability to crack the tablet market. Like you say- "everyone" makes Android tablets- even the biggest Microsoft flag wavers.

Nice Google ad (1, Informative)

PickyH3D (680158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009381)

The summary even went as far as breaking down what it means to be a Chrome OS-running device while attacking Microsoft at both the start and end of it.

Re:Nice Google ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009491)

Plus they used the phrase "Don't get Microshafted" a lot.

Surprising? (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009397)

This is hardly surprising, with Android smartphones, tablets and chromebooks as well as Google web apps if you've invested in that Google platform - and so many people have - then you probably don't *need* Windows. Not to mention creating a Windows RT tablet doesn't exactly do much in terms of integration for existing Windows customers (that is non-Metro UI users).

Re:Surprising? (1)

Teresita (982888) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009505)

Not so much a Microsoft reservation as a zoo with all the Windows wide open, but the animals stay right where they are because isn't that what they're supposed to do?

Re: Surprising? (1)

nashv (1479253) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010511)

Also, why should I go hunt when all the food is coming to me anyway.

    Not everyone on Windows is a drooling idiot, some people just have other priorities.

Re: Surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43012807)

Also, why should I go hunt when all the food is coming to me anyway.

    Not everyone on Windows is a drooling idiot, some people just have other priorities.

(wipes drool from chin...)

Re:Surprising? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013073)

This is hardly surprising, with Android smartphones, tablets and chromebooks as well as Google web apps if you've invested in that Google platform - and so many people have - then you probably don't *need* Windows. Not to mention creating a Windows RT tablet doesn't exactly do much in terms of integration for existing Windows customers (that is non-Metro UI users).

Looks like some MS employees have modpoints - this is about as far from Troll as its possible to get.

Re:Surprising? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013163)

This is hardly surprising, with Android smartphones, tablets and chromebooks as well as Google web apps if you've invested in that Google platform - and so many people have - then you probably don't *need* Windows.

I have "invested" in Android (phone and tablet) but I most certainly need a proper OS to do real work on, whether it's Windows, Linux or OSX.

previous discussion (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009449)

It doesn't lead with the "fleeing windows" angle, but here is yesterday's /. discussion on the tablet [slashdot.org] , which I'm going to guess covers a lot of what we're about to discuss here...

Win 8 shows decline of the WinTel fiat (2, Interesting)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009515)

fact is, you have seriously different needs and input technologies between desktop and mobile systems. Win 8 attempts to make them into one system. I can't reach over my desk to touch a screen that doesn't have touch capability anyway, and Live Tiles just clutter things up. Microsoft insists on directing the user to the MS vision, when we liked earlier versions of Windows because we could make the machine "ours". that vision gets in the way. which is why there are Android and IOS/MacOS alternatives gaining on the Redmondonians every hour.

a drowning man will grasp at straws (5, Insightful)

lophophore (4087) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009525)

No offense to Google; I like their products.

HP is going to need to do a lot more than market a Chromebook and an Android tablet to get out of the ditch.

Re:a drowning man will grasp at straws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010021)

A 7-inch tablet for third of the price of a similar Apple product can do just that, assuming this stuff actually works and works well.

Re:a drowning man will grasp at straws (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010859)

A 7-inch tablet for third of the price of a similar Apple product can do just that, assuming this stuff actually works and works well.

HP's history tells us it won't work well though. It will have made sacrifices in performance/cost savings/functionality in order to try and enter the market, rather than make something truly different or desirable they will have done the equivalent of a cheap chinese knockoff. time will tell.

Not surprised. (4, Informative)

tom229 (1640685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009539)

My girlfriend recently decided to trade in her old boat anchor of a laptop for a new device. Her budget wasn't high (around $500). She came to me for advice and I had an extraordinarily difficult time finding an affordable, light, and fast x86 device. She also wanted a keyboard and trackpad so we ended up settling on an Asus Transformer TF300T. She couldn't be happier. It can do all the things she's interested in doing (facebook, email, pinterest, skype, etc), its fast, easy to use, and fits in her purse.

I think this is going to be the story going forward for the casual home user. Why buy a bulky laptop or expensive ultrabook? A tablet transformer has a more convenient form factor at all times, and content consumption operating systems like Android are more friendly to the end user.

I don't see high end gaming or content creation devices going this way any time soon, but the days of the casual home use desktop are coming to an end.

Re:Not surprised. (4, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009621)

Mod up. Now, if Libreoffice or, more probably Google, could get "good enough" compatibility with MS Office docs, (including Excel macros, weird PPT presentations and fonts) then this could really go somewhere...

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009735)

Mod up. Now, if Libreoffice or, more probably Google, could get "good enough" compatibility with MS Office docs, (including Excel macros, weird PPT presentations and fonts) then this could really go somewhere...

It's been a very long time since I've experienced any compatibility-related problems with OO.org; we've gone way past "good enough." I don't doubt your anecdotal evidence; I just offer my own to balance yours.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009867)

While Writer is very good the presentation comparability is sadly lacking especially if you have videos and other fancy content embedded. Not to mention there is very little compatibility with Excel macros, especially those that use win32 API calls as LibreOffice would have to integrate Wine to use them.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010071)

Excel macros that use win32 API calls?! The business using that $#!+ deserves to fail!
And probably will, as Microsoft leaves backwards compatibility in the past.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010969)

I have never been exposed to such spreadsheets.

So it's really a non-problem for most people.

That's kind of the point. It just took the rise of tablets for people to finally realize it. Most people really don't need Microsoft's brand of WordPerfect style overkill. They never did really.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013403)

I have never been exposed to such spreadsheets.

That doesn't mean that they don't exist, nor that only idiots use them.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011991)

It could be a useful strategy for Google to help LibreOffice or one of its clones with that. And porting the whole thing to Android (which is probably much easier said than done).

Plus adding a better touch interface for use on Android.

Proper editing capabilities for Office documents is to me one of the only severe restrictions of Android at the moment. And is indeed what stopped me from considering non-x86 alternatives when getting a new netbook half year ago. The offerings were interesting, but the need of editing documents is key to me.

Re:Not surprised. (-1, Troll)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009767)

Sadly, your example shows the level of intellectual functioning of many people these days. Mindless consumers of content who rarely are able to produce any significant coherent writing whatsoever, because thats all these tablets and such are good for .

For actual content creators with an IQ over 120, the desktop is not going anywhere. Its the best, most comfortable way to produce content, with a full size, free standing keyboard and a larger screen. A must for going to college and for work. I cannot imagine doing college work on a laptop, I know people do. But it is allows little flexibility for positioning of the screen and keyboard relative to each other. They also provide a much worse value as far as CPU and hard drive capacity per dollar.

Touch screen is ridiculous for work. The reason we use keyboards and mouse is so that the arm can rest on the desk. Using a touch screen at a desk continuously becomes uncomfortably very quickly.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010155)

Sadly, your example shows the level of intellectual functioning of many people these days. Mindless consumers of content who rarely are able to produce any significant coherent writing whatsoever, because thats all these tablets and such are good for .

The only *mindless* consumers are those like you, with no imagination, unable to see beyond the shiny that marketers present them. So unthinking are you that you don't even realize the Transformer is more than just a touchscreen tablet, it actually includes a keyboard and touchpad, you can even use a mouse. For the rest of us we can see the only real difference is the underlying architecture, you can plug in a mouse and keyboard and function just as you would on any PC and be just as productive, hell i can even plug it into a large display too! The core device form-factor is irrelevant, if you can open your mind to actually *think* then you will be able to see that quite clearly, there is more to the tablet scene than just the iPad.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010127)

I bought a $500 laptop half a year ago, and had no such difficulties. $500 can easily get you a laptop with an i3 CPU, which is much faster than any tablet.

I guess it depends on your definition of light, though. For me, light is anything that I can throw into a backpack easily.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013429)

I guess it depends on your definition of light, though. For me, light is anything that I can throw into a backpack easily.

It sounds like the Apple marketing department's definition of light/thin, i.e. something fractionally lighter/thinner than the competition whose lightness/thinness will totally transform your life from dull, plodding computer user into a breathtakingly attractive artist/musician/poet.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010355)

Her budget wasn't high (around $500). She came to me for advice and I had an extraordinarily difficult time finding an affordable, light, and fast x86 device.

Wow, you must suck at buying computers.

$500 is more than enough for a great laptop for the "casual home user". Just an example, I picked up an Acer Aspire One 722 to replace my wife' work computer (She just needs internet, email, word, excel) 4GB of RAM, AMD C60 Deul-Core processor, 500GB hard drive -- for $230 dollars. (On Amazon, no less!) That's WAY more machine than the transformer -- and it's actually usable. For $500, I could have picked up an even better computer.

By buying the transformer, you paid more for less ... much less. I'm sorry that your friend listened to your crappy advice.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010655)

I've got one of these too. Another point is that people are creating content on devices, but they're using the camera on the back and editing that on the device. They're not typing away on a keyboard as much. For that, these devices are fine. They also boot up instantly, I don't think you can overstate the importance of that to the average user. Windows anything is just old school.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43012127)

I think this is going to be the story going forward for the casual home user. Why buy a bulky laptop or expensive ultrabook? A tablet transformer has a more convenient form factor at all times, and content consumption operating systems like Android are more friendly to the end user.

Not exactly a controversial prediction that one... Microsoft read those tea leaves years ago, and so designed Surface RT just for your girlfriend.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

stretch0611 (603238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012417)

I agree, for the majority of home use, a tablet will replace laptops and desktops.

A tablet is less expensive, more portable, and has a relatively lightweight OS. The smaller size combined with a camera that can be used as a simple scanner allows for a lot of added flexibility even for some business uses.

The biggest downfall is the lack of a physical keyboard. While this only has a minimal impact on people that are browsing content, it is a severe limitation on people that need to type a lot. (especially people that need to use a work processor or programmers editor.) I do have an original Asus Transformer (TF101) with the physical keyboard attachment, and while this works well for light typing, it is far from a true desktop replacement.

I suppose if tablets with full sized usb ports supporting real keyboards and mice become commonplace, the full fledged desktop/laptop market will have accelerated loses. However, there will always be at least a niche need for the power users. (and as a transformer owner, I know adding a mouse really does change the UI; it is not something that many developers account for making for a few moments of awkwardness.)

My tablet has allowed me to bring it instead of a full laptop in many cases and I love it. My mother has a smaller 7 inch tablet and the only time she uses her computer now is the few times she needs a word processor.

Tablets are already destroying the PC market. The only question is how long before they take over.

addressing wrong problem (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009597)

HP's problem is not the OS (though that might not be helping), it is there damn ugly designs, crapware and bloatware that every device comes configured with making even the most expensive items feel like you are using a device from 10 years ago. It won't matter what direction they pick till they fix there core problem of not making machines for usability and performance.

Re:addressing wrong problem (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009981)

According to virtually all reviewers, the Slate 7 actually addresses the issue of "ugly designs". It is, in my opinion, a good looking tablet.

Re:addressing wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010483)

And will it come jam packed with Shovelware like everything else they ship making it little more than a paperweight till you spend time cleaning it up?

But not very far ... (1)

jamesl (106902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009677)

Hewlett-Packard seems more determined than ever to flee the Windows reservation ...

Maybe so, but they don't want to get too far away.

"The new HP ENVY x2 PC gives you the power of two devices in one. A Windows 8 notebook with a bright, vivid HD Touch display. And a tablet that slides off for those times when you want to carry even less."
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ad/envy-x2/overview.html?jumpid=hpr_r1002_usen_link1 [hp.com]
 

It's also about what people want and don't want (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009773)

People want to keep using their computers, at the very least, in the way they have grown accustomed. Microsoft has a winner in the present day Windows 7. (Hilarious that I would even say that, but I did.) The last thing Microsoft should do right now is attempt to take that away from its customers and yet that's clearly Microsoft's aim.

People don't want change. They don't want it forced on them and yet if they want a new computer, guess what is most likely to come on it? And most of those people don't have the skill to put Windows 7 on it so they are pretty much stuck with whatever comes with it. So increasingly, they are resisting the need to even buy new computers. This doesn't sit well with computer sellers.

ASUS has shown the buying public is interested in tablets but they don't "need" Windows. The Google Nexus 7 has proven itself well. HP, a starving PC maker just wants a piece of that action. How long before Dell does the same? I know Dell has played in that field already... they inexplicably [my opinion] pulled out. Every attempt at supporting Linux was half-hearted enough to make me believe they did it to "prove" that Linux is not a viable alternative to Windows. Just a theory...

But Microsoft stopped caring long ago about what people want and what they don't want. They have demonstrated their contempt for the public numerous times. People have somewhere else to go now... and we are seeing them go.

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009903)

People don't want change.

Exactly. Which is my most people will never touch cell phones, let along smart phone, and will keep happily using their landlines. They also hate change so much that they know that a computer will certainly never replace their typewriter. And ARM based tablets are so much change from everything they previously knew they, that not a single person would ever want one.

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (1)

clemdoc (624639) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012245)

Cell phone vs. landline is a comparison of completely different things (ever tried carrying around your landline phone to the supermarket and calling home to ask if there was anything else you should buy but might have forgotten to put on the shopping list?) whereas a new computer is just that: A new version of something you already have.
And I think that indeed most (non-technical) people just want to keep using their computer the way they did without having to learn new stuff.

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (4, Funny)

SEE (7681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010493)

It's not that people reject change. It's that Windows 8 on phones/tablets/netbooks is the equivalent of cramming a lobotomized MVS onto the original 8088-based IBM PC, while Windows 8 on PCs is like making a port of COMMAND.COM the shell on MVS.

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43011229)

LOL. "People don't want change! That's why they are all going to switch to Android!"

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012035)

Well, as other repliers pointed out to you, people are not totally reluctant to change - if it adds something to the experience, if it is something totally different, allowing to do things they could not do before.

And another thing that should be added: change is OK if the new thing works at least as easy as the previous version. Example: people happily switch from WinXP to Win7, but not Win8. They also happily pick up a smart phone, as both Android and iOS operate very easily and mostly quite intuitively.

One thing that held back Linux for a long time was that you can not run Windows software. Well many people now have bitten that bullet and walk around with tablets, which suit their needs quite well. Except maybe for the lack of MS Office or an equivalent. Web browsing, e-mailing, watching videos, playing Angry Birds, it all works just fine. There is no compelling need for Windows any more, and the general computer buyers are learning that, too, but likely very slowly if only for the lack of alternatives on display in the shops.

Also, for the desktop there is still no serious competitor. Linux with all its distributions has the technical quality, no doubt. However there is no big (enough) company that can push their offering to hardware makers (e.g. HP, Dell, etc), to install their OS on computers for sale, instead of Windows. Restrictive licensing contracts my MS may also be a problem there, plenty of allegations in that direction at least.

Ditching Windows and going Linux-only is a very risky strategy for those computer makers. Even if they can make their offerings cheaper (they could add crapware with Linux just like they do with Windows for the kickbacks) it is not sure whether the market would accept it. The linux distro makers are also not big and strong enough to support them - and who is going to pay for all that support anyway, if the distro can be installed for free?

Re:It's also about what people want and don't want (2)

jurco (2851147) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012459)

...if they want a new computer, guess what is most likely to come on it?

My roommate Phill.

Et tu, Brute? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009831)

Well, MS bought into Dell, presumably to secure them as the biggest MS platform. Who's next, HP, Lenovo? Hope Balmer has enough cash...

Slow news day? (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009839)

"This isn't the first time in recent memory that HP's opted for a Google product over one offered by longtime partner Microsoft." - so it's not really news then is it?
In other front-page news, I drove to work today. Yesterday I also drove to work then drove home.

Windows OS rental (0)

dinther (738910) | about a year and a half ago | (#43009875)

Microsoft is very slow to adjust to market pressures which may become it's undoing. The world is networked now. An OS has become largely irrelevant while the browser has become the new OS.

People no longer buy an eternal license of Windows anymore. Besides that model never made sense due to continuous Windows updates. Also new PC's tend to be sold with an OEM license and only savvy PC users know how to get a box without the Microsoft tax.

Adobe got it right with their rental of their latest software suite. Priced at $40 a month you get access to thousands of dollars worth of software for as long as you keep paying.

Microsoft is well overdue to do the same. An monthly or annual Windows rental for X dollars for their latest Windows OS with maybe the first year free or at reduced cost. Not only does it remove the Windows tax from ever more competitive priced hardware but it also makes it possible for Microsoft to innovate faster and keep their Windows OSes out there up to date.

Look at Youtube! Over the years it has drastically changes the look and feel but Google did it in many small steps, slowly easing users in the direction it wants to go. If Microsoft had done this with Windows they would not have the resistance to the new Metro interface they experience today. Hardware suppliers would embrace the "free" windows OS as it allows them to compete again against other free operating systems.

Consumers win too because they don't need to fork out for a full new license every few years while being able to use the latest OS without the need to perform massive monolithic upgrades.

Different beast.. (2)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010209)

Windows presents MS with a conundrum.

In the case of Adobe, their market was, mostly saturated. Switching to a rental model doesn't do much to erode future revenue opportunity since the unwilling parties probably were already not buying new copies, and Adobe really doesn't have that much of a vested interest beyond the explicit revenue on the offering.

MS does have a wider vested interest in Windows though. They want to monetize facilitating and curating an application ecosystem and services like skydrive. They need users. MS would probably do better to make their OS free as in beer. This is, incidently, more the Google model, who doesn't burden ChromeOS or Android with advertising or anything nor do they charge up front or periodically (yes, vendor usage gets complicated, but end users are free to do whatever) and instead it is a means to an end of getting users into their ecosystem.

MS is instead stuck in the mindset that each individual component must be considered on its own and be a profit center in and of itself, meanwhile Google threatens to eat their lunch more and more every day.

Er... ElitePad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43009953)

HP just released the ElitePad, a Windows 8 tablet that is actually pretty decent (in as much as anything running Windows 8 is "decent"). It has an 8 hour battery life, active digitizer, and some nifty dock accessories that turn it into a desktop PC. It runs an Atom CPU which is a strike against it, but in my experience (disclaimer: I just received one at work) as a tablet it's nearly as quick as my iPad and Transformer Prime are. It's a bit slow when running legacy apps, but not horribly so for the common stuff like Word/Excel, etc.

So given the above, how is HP "fleeing" exactly?

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ad/elitepad/overview.html

Re:Er... ElitePad? (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010237)

What I don't get is all the industry affinity for the Atom. It's horribly crippled (because Intel fears cannibalizing i3 sales) and AMD offers competitive options in the space without the platform restrictions Atom carries and a respectable GPU. I'd love to find some decent AMD tablets (because the i-series based ones are so expensive).

Don't blame em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010015)

Microsoft basically pissed all over the IHVs with Surface - there's going to be...trouble.

Hedging bets.. (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010129)

This is an 'all of the above' strategy. Assuming HP's entries into the market are respectable in the respective fields (which at least the Slate 7 does not seem to be), then no matter the 'winner' HP is equipped to support it.

Re:Hedging bets.. (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012359)

From here
http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/The-Next-Bench-Blog/HP-Slate-This-is-the-Droid-You-Were-Looking-For/ba-p/80911 [hp.com]

As a result, HPâ(TM)s plan includes a three-tiered approach for the tablet market. Torres adds, âoeWeâ(TM)re looking at mobility in the enterprise commercial tier, where the ElitePad 900 is already getting traction in the marketplace. The Slate is coming from the consumer line, which is really about delivering a great entertainment experience. We also want to create a third tier for premium consumer products â" a Bring-Your-Own solution for the SMB crowd. Think of a device built with a âwork hard, play hardâ(TM) attitude.âoe

The ElitePad 900 is a $649 Windows 8 tablet with 1280 x 800 screen (same resolution as my much cheaper android tablet actually). The inbetween tablet doesn't exist yet. However now there is some context it becomes a little clearer why the slate 7 is a bit so so.

In my opinion HP are trying to bait and switch. The Android tablet is supposed to be the poor mans option, your not a poor man are you? They can't build an Android tablet with decent specs or it will detract from the tablet they really want you to buy. I had to go to HP to find out a little more about the Slate 7 and it still left unanswered questions and in the process of doing so started trying to sell me on its ElitePad. Without the Slate 7 I wouldn't have bothered looking at HP.

If HP really wanted to sell me an Android tablet they could have built an Android version of the Elite Pad with it's better screen keyboard dock , longer life battery faster processor. The Message is clear, Android tablets are an inferior option to a Windows 8 tablet in every respect. Maybe they are still smarting from the failure of WEBOS, Android was the alternative that sunk their investment, I can't see HP as being a fan of Android at all.

I don't see much about the Slate 7 to differentiate it from many other chinese designs other than the badge and the colour scheme. I'm pretty sure any engineer who worked for HP on the Slate 7 would be googling reviews and as Slashdot is on the front page for the Slate 7, Im sure one will comment on one of these threads.

HP being smart (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010307)

Funny (1)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010393)

People have been fleeing HP for years.

HP's Android tablet will fail (1)

lilfields (961485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010751)

HP, Dell, and other OEMs need to realize that they haven't failed necessarily because of Windows, but because they make subpar hardware and continue to make subpar hardware on the consumer level. This might be fine in the enterprise field where companies want things to be cheap and to just work, but the consumer market has changed, people want quality. Apple has been very good at that, and it took them years to build this image of quality...HP can't just crap our some piece of plastic with Windows and Android and expect it to sell. HP and Dell are so blind to this, it seems Dell has awakened somewhat with the wanting to go private, but HP is missing it big time. Android isn't going to save them, building things that aren't total junk will. This new Android tablet looks absolutely terrible, and they copied the pop color trend that Windows Phone started but executed it poorly, the bezel on the device is massive. What is HP thinking? Stick to a core OS, make your hardware not suck, it takes a while to gain traction and to get your name associated again with quality...maybe this failed Android venture will burn them enough to realize they can't keep making pieces of junk and shoving them down consumer's throats with ANY platform. It could be iOS and it wouldn't sell, stop making junk HP. Same goes to you Acer, Dell, and any other OEM who has failed miserably. Lenovo PC shipments were up last year...because they don't make total piece of garbage, get with the program.

Re:HP's Android tablet will fail (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012671)

I have two HP Laptops an old core 2 duo c700 and a couple years old i3 G62 . Both are still going strong - both great Linux machines. The c700 amazes me how it can still hold its own against my newer machine its a bit battered through plenty of usage. The G62 i have upgraded with additional memory and second SSD drive (in the optical bay) - its my main work machine and goes with me everywhere. While both these laptops were at the budget end of the spectrum when i bought them I feel that for the money i paid for them i got a good deal. Neither machines are going in a gallery next to any Apple devices as far as looks are concerned - but I dont have money to burn on machines that are 3 times the price for the same hardware/cpu inside. All the manufacturers you cite make high end machines nowadays out of higher quality materials if you are prepared to pay the premium.

You say that consumers want quality - of course we do - but most consumers want quality that they can afford. Apple stuff is expensive and while their phones and tablets can be had at good deals from the phone shops subsidized by contracts their computers are too expensive for the average joe.

ever so slightly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43010797)

ever so slightly outdated by the recent release of Android 4.2.

Yea, a device unveiled that's only 3.5 months behind, not for sale yet, and may in fact never get an update. And people say there's no problem with the Android ecosystem. HP is going to join this race to the bottom? I'm unsure why people buy anything other than Nexus tablets unless they really desire to tinker out their own updates... I 3 my Nexus 10, and the 7 seems pretty awesome too.

Re:ever so slightly (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012125)

It amuses me when people complain about the Windows Phone 8 upgrade restrrictiosn when the phone in my pocket is still running Android 2.2, it was supposed to get 2.3 but LG decided they'd rather put out a new phone to run 2.3 instead. 2.3 was released less than 4 months after I got my phone.

M$ don't care (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43010925)

M$ don't give a shit. Android tax. They still make a dollar off of it.

racist much? (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011803)

whats next, calling HP "fleeing the Microsoft Plantation for the underground railroad of Android" ?

This may have been Windows last chance (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about a year and a half ago | (#43011869)

When MS put out Vista and no one wanted it, we all clung on to XP then jumped on Win 7 soon as it came out. Now we have a 3rd party (Tablets) to turn to, by the time Win 9 comes out and things are put back right no one will care. Because of Win 8, the post PC era got a strong kick start from the very people who helped create it.

HP is responding to shifting consumer tastes (1)

JonBoy47 (2813759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012265)

Businesses have boat-loads of lagacy, proprietary software that will keep them tied to Winblows for the forseeable future. Consumers have no such hang-ups, and are starting to realize that iPad, Kindle Fire or the innumerable Android-based alternatives can meet their web surfing, Facebook, email, media consumption, gaming, etc. needs, at a lower cost and with much greater portability. We're a couple of software updates away from a tablet that is a true, viable replacement for a Windows PC. This is the future M$ is shitting themselves over, and that HP is trying to position themselves for.

I'm Lovin' it (0)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#43012579)

Loving the gradual move away from Microsoft products that we've been seeing last year and this year; but I don't think Android is the answer. HP should have just chosen a Linux distro and customized it to their likings instead of being at Google's mercy. Makes no sense to jump from one bad guy to another, when a good guy is staring you in the face.

M$ didn't anticipate backlash to Surface (1)

cj9er (1618279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43013177)

This is hardly surprising, Microsoft really pissed off the OEMs by producing their own hardware (which they usually do very poorly, i.e. Kin) in this space. Sure a re-branded keyboard or mouse here or there is no big deal but when they go out and try replacing the entire ecosystem, they HAD to know there was going to be backlash.
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