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. 


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
One Button Travel (Games)
One Button Travel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: “To cut a long story short, If you like interactive fiction, just go buy this one.” - “Oozes the polish that... | Read more »
Light Apprentice Volume 1 (Games)
Light Apprentice Volume 1 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Light Apprentice Volume 1 includes Chapters 1 to 4, all gathered in a new exclusive game. When life in the world of... | Read more »
The best games like Animal Crossing on m...
Animal Crossing amiibo Festival is out right now for the Wii U, reminding us of just how much fun that world can be. Or at least to go back and check in on our villages once in a while. [Read more] | Read more »
Between 2 Taps - Tap for Tap interview M...
Hello, and welcome back to Between 2 Taps, Tap for Tap’s Indie Dev interview series. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Black Friday deals on the Apple Watch and App...
Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday weekend. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers: Apple... Read more
Early Black Friday sale at B&H Photo, up...
B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $500 off MSRP as part of their early Black Friday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699 $300 off... Read more
NewerTech/OWC/MacSales Black Friday Deals 201... • Free Shipping available on nearly EVERYTHING on orders $35.00 & up within USA + • International Delivery Specials from $2.99+ Special Purolator... Read more
Walmart Black Friday deals: $100 off select i...
Walmart has released their Black Friday deals for 2015, now available online. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad Air 2: $399, $100 off MSRP - 16GB iPad Air: $... Read more
Photo Cleaner 1.0 Reclaims iPhone Storage Spa...
Seoul, Korea based mix1009 has announced the release and immediate availability of Photo Cleaner 1.0, their handy iPhone app that deletes the video portion of Live Photos, in order to reclaim space... Read more
Black Friday and Holiday sales on our price t...
Scan our Mac Price Trackers for the latest Black Friday and Holiday season information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the... Read more
Best Buy Black Friday deals: Up to $200 off M...
Best Buy has posted their Black Friday sale prices for 2015. Save on MacBook Pros, MacBooks, MacBook Airs, iMacs, iPads, and Apple Watches. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Save $30-$40 on new Apple TVs after rebate
Adorama has new Apple TVs on sale for up to $40 off MSRP after mail-in rebate, good through December 15th. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 32GB Apple TV: $119.99... Read more
13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air At Two Years – Th...
The 13-inch mid-2013 “Haswell” MacBook Air I ordered in Apple’s November 2013 Black Friday sale was my first new Mac in four and a half years — the longest interval I’ve gone between system upgrades... Read more
Target Black Friday Early Access deals: $100...
Target is offering early access to their Black Friday deals on Apple products on their online store for today, the 25th, only. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - Apple... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Enterprise / Government Professional...
# Apple Enterprise / Gove ment Professional Services Engineer Job Number: 42292976 Reston, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Clock Fa...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch - Clock Face Team Job Number: 44368761 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 14, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Administrative Assistant, *Apple* Online St...
# Administrative Assistant, Apple Online Store Job Number: 43992352 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 9, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.