Microsoft executive Craig Mundie suggested that the tablet market, which includes Apple's iPad, could lack staying power.
At least one
Microsoft executive seems unconvinced that tablets are much more than a passing
something that you want to use while you're moving, and portable is something
that you move and then use," Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and
strategy officer, reportedly told the audience at a lunch in Sydney. "These are
going to bump into one another a little bit, and so today you can see tablets
and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between."
According to a March 30 report
in the International Business
Times, he also added: "Personally, I don't know whether I believe that space
will be a persistent one or not."
That marks the
second criticism against tablets to come out of Australia in the past few days.
On March 28, a Dell executive told CIO Australia
that Apple's iPad had little chance in succeeding with businesses
due in part to its high cost with accessories.
a low-key presence in the tablet market, despite its rivals' aggressive moves
in that space. Apple's iPad 2 is currently attracting around-the-block lines at
its retail locations, and manufacturers, ranging from Samsung to LG Electronics
and Toshiba, are all preparing new tablets for release over the next few
quarters. While tablets have existed for years as a device for narrow industry
segments, the original iPad is widely seen as responsible for making the form factor
a viable consumer item.
Windows 7 has
appeared on a small handful of tablets in the past year, courtesy of
Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturing partners. However, many of these
devices are aimed at the Asian market, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
neglected to mention the company's tablet plans during his keynote at this
January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
perception is that Microsoft's next operating system, dubbed "Windows 8" by the
media and possibly due for release sometime in 2012, will be designed for interoperability
with the tablet form factor. In theory, a more substantial Microsoft drive into
the tablet space would begin at that time.
CES, Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would support SoC
(system-on-a-chip) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems from partners
such as Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Qualcomm. In theory, that would allow
Windows to make a play for smaller mobile devices.
hood there's a ton of differences that need to be worked through," Steven
Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, told media and
analysts assembled for Microsoft's Jan. 5 press conference to unveil the SoC
decision. "Windows has proven remarkably flexible at this under-the-hood sort
of stuff. We work on storage from flash all the way up to terabytes of storage"
and "Windows kernel on alternate architectures."
Microsoft begin a hard push into tablets, it will encounter entrenched
resistance from the same companies and operating systems currently giving it
such trouble in the smartphone arena: Apple's iOS, as loaded onto the iPad, and
Google's new and tablet-optimized Android 3.0, also known as "Honeycomb."