June 15, 2012

Microsoft Is Doing Its Own Tablet. How Do You Like Them Apples?

Ina Fried, writing for AllThingsD:

"Tired of losing ground to the iPad, Microsoft is poised to serve up its own entry in the suddenly booming tablet market. After signaling for months that it would attack the market only through its traditional hardware partners, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly."

I'm not sure the tablet market is "suddenly" booming. Apple has sold millions of their tablet in the past two years.

Microsoft, late to the game with a tablet-only software product, already has a leg up on Google's Android tablets with their forthcoming Windows RT operating system. Sporting the well-regarded Metro user interface and designed to run on similar ARM-based processors, products bundling this OS stand the best chance of competing with Apple's iPad.

I'm hoping Microsoft dials up the quality with whichever contract manufacturer they use for their branded tablet. They'll need a high quality, tightly integrated product to successfully compete with the iPad.

Witness the failure to chip away at the iPad's success of nearly every Android tablet until Amazon entered the market. Part of their problem was Google's lack of control over tablet hardware design and manufacture.

(Another part, though, is the reported clumsy user experience of Android. Amazon's Kindle tablet had a better post-launch sales run because that company's engineers layered their own user interface over Android's, providing a smoother, simpler experience.)

A high quality, Microsoft branded Windows RT tablet will be a strong competitor for Apple.