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Can Microsoft Compete with the iPad?

Ballmer Expected to Unveil Slates at CES

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Reports indicate that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to unveil some new slates from Samsung and Dell at CES next month that are designed to compete with Apple’s incredibly popular iPad. 

The company has not confirmed, and the sources of the info are unnamed, but evidently trusted by the New York Times, which reports

The Samsung device is described as "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing."

The people familiar with this device said it would run the Windows 7 operating system when in landscape mode, but will also have a layered interface that will appear when the keyboard is hidden and the device is held in a portrait mode.

Apple’s iPad has been a huge seller. Can Microsoft’s platform attain similar success? A keyboard and familiar Windows interface would no doubt be appealing to a lot of users, particularly if it is just an option that is available alongside a more iPad-like touch interface. This could provide the best of both worlds if it’s done right. 

One of the biggest complaints about the iPad is that it’s not the easiest thing to type on, particularly if you have large hands. 

Microsoft is a little late to the market in this space, but apparently not as late as it was to the smartphone market (with the recent launch of Windows Phone 7). Granted, we don’t know when these knew slates would actually see the consumer market. 

Steve Ballmer Shows off Slate at CES

Microsoft is of course not just competing with Apple, but all makers of tablets and mobile computer operating systems, and that includes Google, which is gearing up for the consumer launch of its Chrome operating system next year. It’s not on tablets, but it’s still going to be an option for consumers looking for a new mobile computer. Most people aren’t going to buy a tablet and a notebook. Google has the tablets covered with Android, however, like with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and more to come. 

No matter how you slice it, iPad sales are bound to be affected, simply based on the fact that it won’t be the only option in its class anymore. It will be particularly interesting to see how big of a hand Microsoft has in the competition. 

Can Microsoft Compete with the iPad?
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  • Guest

    No.

  • Guest

    Nope.

  • Guest3

    No chance.

  • Guest

    Fail

  • Walt French
  • Guest

    Didn’t they do the same thing a year ago at CES with the DOA HP slate?

    And didn’t they also “leak” super secret concept videos of the mythical Courier project about a year ago?

    It’s like D

    • Chris Crum

      The image in the article is from the unveiling of the HP slate.

  • Paul

    I think they should be renamed Dull.

    • Chris Crum

      I can’t see that helping sales.

  • Guest

    Typical of Microsoft, their’ new technology is someone’s old technology, of course it’s easy to come out with extra features when someone else has nutted out the workings. Apple will step up with version two and just sink them again.
    If you had one cent for every new idea Microsoft came up with (by themselves) you’d be owing money !!!

  • vybixa

    You are comparing oranges and apples (oops! that word apple popped in again, no pun intended)
    I believe MS is only offering an OS or the software for this “new” tablet, just like was the case for the HP slate, where as the iPad offering from Apple is BOTH HW and SW. Can the NEW offering from MS compete with the iPad? Of-course it can, more pertinent though, can the “new” gizmo dent iPad’s market share? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

  • OpEd

    YAWWWNNNN

    Microsoft is the master of … “We can do that too” …

    .. only worse.

    I’ve owned too many Windows Mobile smartphones to ever own one again. More of the half baked copies predicted. Resource hogs, unstable, slow and stupid.

    Dream on Balmer.

  • Guest

    Wouldn’t buy a Microsoft slate if my life depended on it

  • http://www.tablecontrol.com Restaurant Reservation Systems

    Microsoft will have to fight to get in to the Ipad space. Certainly a device with external inputs and the option to transfer files from other devices easily would be one up on the Ipad.

  • Gale

    Bill Gates should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity for putting out crappy operating systems and since he’s left them, they continue to make operating systems that don’t allow you to use software you were able to use before on the previous system.

    I really hope they do come out with one and lose their shirts. My next laptop won’t be anything based on Windows, and so will my next PC; if I have to replace Photoshop and other expensive programs and stay with Windows, then I might as well go to the better system that is not hated like Microsoft… hence all the viruses.

  • Jim

    I went Mac and will never go back. I love my iPad.

  • Tim Bobo

    Nope

  • http://www.rohitsinha.com Rohit Sinha

    I truly agree apple sales will get affected but it will be very less. In general customers of apple are apple fan they will stick to it.

    And as far as usability and support goes no one can beat apple at least in look and feel :)

  • Guest

    It’s so fully how Monkey boy Ballmer thinks people still listen to him. There is only so long that you can get positive mindshare based on a lucky dorm room assignment. Microsoft has lost so much positive mindshare since he criticised the iPhone as being “not a very good email machine because it doesn’t have a keyboard” way back at it’s launch.

    What do Microsoft do then. Copy copy copy…

    They copied the Macintosh operating system, they copied the iPhone and now they are copying the iPad.

    Well the iPhone has proven it’s capabilities due to high sales and positive reviews. Same thing with the iPad.

    So why did Windows do well in the open market? It was a cheap and cheerful alternative to the Mac. Only difference is Apple are more price competitive now to compared to the better quality PC manufacturers and even some of the cheaper ones and as always Apple also have the better product.

    I see the demise of Microsoft in it’s current form over the next few years. They will be relegated to being a software provider for Mac OS, Chrome, Android, iOS and Linux.

    Can’t see it happening? Well look at IBM and how they were forced to change. They no longer actually make PCs and THEIR products were good quality. How can MS survive as an OS provider when Apple, Google and others have better products at competitive prices?

    And now computing is document format centric and often cloud based so there is less of a need to use Windows. The last nail in the Windows coffin.

    Save this comment and see if it comes true…

    Merry Christmas all…

  • Guest

    If they add an IR port and market it properly it could be huge. Apple really missed out on a huge market by omitting that one obsolete bit.

  • http://www.spydig.com/ sagemore

    MS,good at OS;Apple,good at iPad.
    just like the GG,good at searching,not OS;and MS,OS,not searching.
    thk u
    sage