Greg's Bite: Microsoft's new tablets, Fragmented by design
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite: Microsoft's new tablets, Fragmented by design

By Greg Mills

Famous for pre-launching visionary vaporware products, still way back in the pipeline, that either don't actually launch or have serious flaws that slowly become apparent, Microsoft did it again.  

Hopeful that the Windows fan boys would stir up iPad killer anticipation and raise Microsoft's fortunes, CEO Steve Ballmer showed off yet another prototype tablet. Despite declaring Apple's iPad's market a "rounding error sized challenge to Windows," Microsoft now sees that Apple is indeed taking significant business sales away from them and their partners.  

The first thing you notice is that the latest iPad killer is 9 x16 in shape, due to the HDTV format screen. RIM picked that format for their failed PlayBook tablets, as well. Not only is the screen real-estate truncated for uses other than watching video, for reasons only Microsoft can fathom, they plan to release two versions of the Surface tablet that are platform incompatible, right off the bat. You read that right.  

In addition to the new tablet's built-in platform fragmentation due to two using different chip sets, the move to touch screen has really been diluted by Microsoft with a detachable keypad (likely to cost a good bit more than a bare tablet alone) that is sure to be required for numerous applications users are likely to want. The keyboard is thin and attached mechanically to an edge of the new tablet rather than designed to work with Bluetooth, it appears. Microsoft picked gosh awful colors for their "Smartcover with a keypad" that is very reminiscent of Apple's magnetic iPad cover.  

Consumers, prepare to be very confused. Buyers of the new tablets ought to have a good sense of humor and expect a flurry of patches and recalls common to half-baked Microsoft products.  

When the keyboard is attached to the new tablet what you get looks for all the world like one of those cheap netbooks that are gathering dust at your local electronics store. I have a Kensington Bluetooth keyboard for iPad that I picked up for $50 on Ebay, but don't really use it much. Microsoft, in a sort of neurotic frenzy, is desperate to compete with Apple's iPad but can't seem to grasp the basic concepts that make the tablet magical.

How likely is Apple to launch an iPad that will run the Mac OS but won't run the iOS? Imagine a higher priced version of iPad that runs a lame touch version of the Mac OS instead of the iOS.  For many of the features that would push a consumer into buying an Intel chip set iPad, a keyboard would really be necessary. A major tweaking of every Mac OS app that would run on the bastard iPad tablet would also be required to make the concept work. Duh, why not just get a MacBook Air instead of an expensive iPad with Intel chips if you really want a physical keypad and to run Mac OS apps?  

The intoxicating habit of using an iPad has gotten me to reach out and touch the screen of my MacBook Pro on a number of occasions. That Apple might actually launch a notebook with a touch screen in addition to the built in keyboard is possible, but really not compelling, since they have done such a good job with iOS touch screen technology.  Touch screen technology that is seriously patented,I might add. The natural and easy way to do touch screen intuitively is already owned by Apple. Microsoft is entering an intellectual property quicksand bog at this point. Apple is so far ahead in touch screen technology, Microsoft will never catch up.

Back to the fragmentation issue. The reason for the two versions of the Microsoft tablet is that one is to run a pared down mobile touch version of the latest Windows release on an ARM chipset. The other tablet is running a Intel chipset found in conventional tablets. Microsoft can't ignore a legacy based on what has worked for them in the past. Rather than give up on ever making the Windows PC OS run well on a tablet, they continue to try, so legacy PC programs will still run on the new tablets (how well they will actually run is to be determined).   

The other Mobile Windows OS, which was designed to run on a tablet will suffer from the classic "empty app store" problem. Compatibility of Windows phone apps and the new Microsoft ARM tablet remain to be disclosed. Prepare for serious fragmentation, by design. Microsoft will be Microsoft, after all.

Microsoft ought to be comfortable just milking the Windows PC OS cow until she dies of old age. Every time they try to follow Apple's lead they get burned.  

There are three categories of people and companies in the world. There are those that are able to innovate and invent new and mind-blowing technology. Think Steve Jobs and Apple. There are those that understand ground-breaking innovation when they see it and know when they can't match it. Think HP and the Palm OS.  Then there are the companies that not only fail to actually invent futuristic technology, but can't really understand it when they hold it in their hands. Think Microsoft.

Microsoft History 101: The Apple iPod ate Zune alive, Zune is dead. The Apple iPhone has destroyed Microsoft's Kin phone, (which was discontinued and its OS orphaned after about a month on the market) and even the new Nokia smart phones running Microsoft's newest Windows Mobile platform are failing badly, to the extent Nokia might just go under. Nokia might have at least survived had they gone with the Android platform.  

Apple's iPad is certainly going to eat Microsoft's new tablets for lunch as well.  Even if the Microsoft tablet is okay from a hardware standpoint, the platform fragmentation and lack of a substantial mobile app inventory and likely problems getting anything Microsoft to run well on a touch screen make me discount Microsoft's table prospects. Hey, even RIM's PlayBook was technically pretty good but failed miserably for compelling reasons Microsoft will soon rediscover. Apple isn't taking a break from innovating, thus Microsoft will never catch up in the tablet market.

Software compatibility of iPod touch, iPhones and iPads makes an app written for one iOS device pretty compatible with any other iOS device. While there are two versions of a lot of apps, the fragmentation of Android apps and likely fragmented Microsoft apps has been avoided by Apple. That means a lot to developers.  

Apple has always been a very hard act to follow. I will certainly not put my new iPad up for sale, just yet.  

That is Greg's Bite. 

 
AAPL
$107.65
Apple Inc.
+0.67
MSFT
$46.80
Microsoft Corpora
+0.75
GOOG
$557.07
Google Inc.
+6.76

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Vitamin-R 2.20b1 - Personal productivity...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Dropbox 2.10.44 - Cloud synchronization...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Sandvox 2.9.2 - Easily build eye-catchin...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
Cocktail 8.0.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VMware Fusion 7.0.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
OneNote 15.3.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.4 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.0.0 beta 3 - Powerf...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
TextWrangler 4.5.11 - Free general purpo...
TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Monster Flash Review
Monster Flash Review By Jordan Minor on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ALONE IN THE DARKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Solid shooting and a surprising amount of spooky tension make Monster Flash a great portable... | Read more »
Retry Review
Retry Review By Rob Thomas on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOARING HIGHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Flappy who? Let Retry wash all those bad bird-related memories away on a cool retro-flavored flight… right... | Read more »
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review By Lee Hamlet on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TOUGH READUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A witch hunter is sent after a demonic book in the spooky but short-lived Dementia: Book... | Read more »
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguel...
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguelike, Has Been Renovated Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Logitech Protection + Power iPhone5/5S C...
Made by: Logitech Price: $99.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 1.25 out of 5 stars | Read more »
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanentl...
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanently Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swap Heroes Review
Swap Heroes Review By Campbell Bird on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: STRATEGIC SWAPPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rotate a cast of heroes to fend of waves of monsters in this difficult, puzzle rpg.   | Read more »
Night Sky Pro™ (Reference)
Night Sky Pro™ 3.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Reference Price: $2.99, Version: 3.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Night Sky Pro™Wonder No More™ Night Sky Pro™ is the ultimate stargazing experience. From the creators of the original... | Read more »
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!! Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple now offering refurbished 2014 13-inch R...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple Regains Momentum As Windows Stutters An...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to March 2014, shows Apple performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2%...
New smartphone releases and an increased emphasis on emerging markets drove global smartphone shipments above 300 million units for the second consecutive quarter, according to preliminary data from... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2014 15-inch M...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.