Microsoft Needs a Mobile OS Tuned for Tablets

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-01-16 Print this article Print

5. Wait for Apple to make its next move

Before Microsoft makes any major announcements about tablets, the company should wait for Apple to announce the iPad 2. The last thing Microsoft needs right now is to offer up something that will be quickly eclipsed by Apple's announcements. The smart move is to wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve, and then make strategic decisions off of that.

6. Try to be more Google-like

It's no secret that Microsoft and Google can't stand each other. Eventually Google could be the company that completely dismantles Microsoft. But Google's recent successes have been due to its willingness to be more Microsoft-like and focus on delivering software to vendors. The strategy worked. Now it's time for Microsoft to be more Google-like and focus its efforts on delivering more value to customers. That's one area, especially in the tablet space, where it's lacking.

7. Lean on vendors

Microsoft continues to enjoy success in the PC market, offering Windows to all the vendors in the Intel PC market, including Dell, HP and Acer. If Microsoft wants to see success in the tablet space, it needs to leverage those relationships and coax those companies into making tablets running Windows. It has had some success with HP and Acer, but it needs to do more. Microsoft can only be successful against the iPad if it can blanket the market with devices.

8. Think about the enterprise

As important as consumers are to Microsoft's future tablet business, the company should spend a great deal of its time focusing on the enterprise. The HP Slate 500 is designed with corporate users in mind, which is a good start, but more needs to be done. Windows is successful today because of the enterprise, and Microsoft can't lose sight of that as it plans its strategy for tablets.

9. It's about the developers

Microsoft will never be able to match Apple and the iPad if it can't find a way to work nicely with developers and offer applications on its platform that will best Apple's App Store product. The future of the tablet market will rely heavily on which company can offer the best apps for customers. If that's Microsoft, the company will position itself quite well to gain market share.

10. Consider a Microsoft-branded tablet

Microsoft is a software company-always has been and always will be. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't develop a tablet of its own. The company could use the tablet to drum up hype for its platform and perhaps show other vendors why they should consider adopting its software. Most importantly, a Microsoft tablet, assuming it's designed well, could help put the company on a level playing field with Apple. Simply put, a Microsoft tablet could benefit the software giant greatly. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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