Linked by David Adams on Sat 31st Jul 2010 06:05 UTC, submitted by fran
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft had its annual financial analyst meeting on Thursday, and Steve Ballmer answered questions about what the company's answer to the iPad was going to be, and whether Windows Phone 7 was going to be a part of that product strategy. He said, "We're coming . . . We're coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows." Ballmer and Microsoft so don't get it. I can't believe Steve Ballmer is making me feel sorry for Microsoft.
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When will they learn...
by thecwin on Sat 31st Jul 2010 11:02 UTC
Member since:

"We're working with our hardware partners, we're tuning Windows 7 to new slate hardware designs that they're bringing them to market. And, yeah, you're going to get a lot of cacophony. There will be people who do things with other operating systems. But we've got the application base, we've got the user familiarity. We've got everything on our side if we do things really right."

They have no familiarity or application base because normal desktop user interfaces don't work well on touch. They'll need to make a new unfamiliar UI like Apple did with iPhone OS, and apps will need to be ported with quite drastic changes in UI. In contrast, the iPad is familiar because of the iPhone/iPod that practically everyone has used, and there are tonnes of applications available for the Cocoa Touch platform. Microsoft's biggest advantage as always is the big corporate market, but the corporate market is always resistant to change, such as tablet PCs.

"Microsoft's partners would be focusing on delivering devices with detachable keyboards and stylus input."

Microsoft's partner? HP.. check
Detachable keyboard? check
Stylus input? check
Running a desktop-like familiar OS? check
Extremely popular, took the world by storm? err.... perhaps not.

Edited 2010-07-31 11:04 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: When will they learn...
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 17:34 in reply to "When will they learn..."
sorpigal Member since:

Where Microsoft would have strong leverage with its existing platform on a tablet form factor would be in componentization. Say what you will about quality but there are COM mechanisms for doing a large number of things. If Microsoft could strip down Windows ala their Server 2008 offerings and then layer on a new UI, all while keeping (binary) compatibility at the API layer with third party COM stuff then I imagine it would become a more attractive target: Write your shared back end, do a proper Win32 front end for normal Windows and do a 'tablet' front end for mobile-Windows.

The massive amount of developer mindshare and experience, plus the massive amount of existing components, would give MS an instant base of software. Not quite as much as just re-using the Windows UI wholesale, but as people keep pointing out it doesn't work so well on a touchscreen anyway.

tl;dr same platform, just rewrite the UI. Of course they'll never realize it until too late.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: When will they learn...
by thecwin on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 18:01 in reply to "RE: When will they learn..."
thecwin Member since:

Of course, Microsoft have their advantages. The .NET platform is a big one - given that it's been a pretty significant hit with developers, and with the right carrot many developers will make a touch version of their UI. But I think Microsoft are falling into the same trap they've fallen into with WinMo, Zune, Search, Media PC, old Tablet PC: they think they can corner the new market without any effort, simply by leveraging their dominance in the desktop space.

But they forget/ignore that with a new market, if people hate it, they'd sooner not have a new device at all. In most cases, people will stick with what they know, rather than buying something new and expensive that they don't like. This is essentially what happened with smart phones. BlackBerry and WinMo had a slow gradual increase in market share because some segment of the population *need* to have access to email on the go. For the majority of people, it's more of a nice to have, so they didn't bother until a device came out that made it bearable (iPhone). Just 5 years ago, no-one I knew had a smart phone, everyone just had a simple Nokia that made calls (I'm in the UK). Now, almost everyone I know has an Android or an iPhone. Same deal with MP3 players.

We've managed half a million years as a species without a Windows 7-based tablet PC. I think we could wait as long as it takes for Microsoft to get it right (...or, more likely, buy an iPad/Android tablet/etc.)

Reply Parent Score: 2