News Analysis: Speculation abounds that Microsoft will be unveiling a more tablet-friendly version of Windows at CES. But will it deliver a better experience than iOS?
finds itself in a precarious position. Gone are the days when the software
giant easily leads the way in every space in which it competes. Instead,
Microsoft is looking more like the company that might not fully understand the
needs and desires of customers. Along the way, it's watching as the competition
delivers better choices and options all around.
it wants to change all that.
CES in January, reports claim, Microsoft will be unveiling a version of Windows
designed for tablets and running on ARM
Holdings mobile technology, in an attempt to take on Apple, Google, and other
companies in that market. For its part, Microsoft has neither confirmed nor
denied that report. But speculation abounds that Microsoft will have its sights
set on the tablet space going forward.
Redmond, that might seem like a
good idea. But tablet watchers know that Microsoft's desire to invest more
heavily in that space will eventually will fall short, as will its quest to
Windows isn't ready
it's Windows Phone 7, Windows 7, or any other type of operating system
Microsoft wants to throw at tablets, one thing is clear: the company's operating systems are not ready for that space
Microsoft fully understands what it takes to be successful on the desktop. But--as
it has shown in 2010 by offering Windows Mobile for far too long and delivering
a sub-par OS experience in the HP Slate 500--it doesn't really get the mobile
market. And that won't change at CES.
The iPad is too popular
can try all it wants to beat Apple in the tablet space, but it will first need
to find a way to beat the iPad. As other companies--such as JooJoo, Samsung,
and Dell--have found, beating the iPad isn't easy. Apple's tablet delivers a
lot of value at an affordable price. Moreover, it's offered by Apple, which
only helps drum up demand and hype for the product. Until Microsoft can find a
way to deliver software that's more compelling than iOS, the iPad will reign
Apple understands consumers better
not a stretch to say that Apple understands the needs of consumers far
than does Microsoft
A brief glimpse at history proves that quite easily. Not only did Apple come up
with the iPod, it delivered the best touch-screen experience to consumers via
the iPhone, and followed that up by offering the best consumer tablet in the
space. All the while, Microsoft has played "catch up." That doesn't sound like
a company that understands consumers as well as it should.
It was a rough year for Microsoft
it comes to tablets, it was a difficult year for Microsoft. Last January at
CES, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off a range of Windows-based tablets,
including the HP Slate, which he said would help Microsoft make its mark.
Nearly a year later, Windows has failed to do any such thing. Ballmer looks to
be trying again at the next CES, but questions remain over whether or not
Microsoft really "gets" the mobile market.