Microsoft Won't Beat Apple In the Tablet Market: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-12-27 Print this article Print

title=Microsoft Worries More about Google than Apple}  

5. It's too worried about smartphones 

Years ago, Microsoft was a much different company than it is today. Thanks to its dominance in so many areas, it could focus on several different markets and perform well. Nowadays, that's simply not the case. Granted, Windows is still dominant on PCs and Office is the top productivity suite, but Microsoft falls flat in the mobile market, search, and advertising. Microsoft simply isn't the company it used to be. As it focuses on rebuilding its brand in the smartphone space with Windows Phone 7, it's hard to see how it can be successful at also making a name for itself in the tablet world. 

6. The shortage of mobile applications 

An essential component in the success of tablets today is the ability to have mobile applications from third parties. That's precisely why both Apple and Google are so concerned about building out their mobile app stores. Microsoft, on the other hand, is still far behind there. Its Windows Phone 7 marketplace has less than 5,000 applications. All of those programs are designed for smartphones. If Microsoft plans to make a play in the tablet market, it will need to find a way to bring compelling apps, not full-fledged desktop-focused programs, to its operating system as quickly as possible. 

7. Control over all aspects 

Apple is successful today because it controls all aspects of the iPad. Not only does the company design its hardware, but it also makes the software. The result is a sound marriage between the two integral components that make the device so impressive. Microsoft seems to be planning to only offer software. Because of that, the company is relying on the design talents of its vendor partners. So far, at least, no company has been able to match Apple in the tablet market when it comes to design. 

8. Google distractions 

Although Google hasn't made a strong push in the tablet space just yet, it's a major concern for Microsoft across an array of markets. It's the company that Steve Ballmer worries about each and every day. Realizing that, Microsoft is likely building its tablet-friendly operating system with Google in mind. In the process, the company could lose sight of what makes Apple successful. That wouldn't be a good thing. 

9. Who knows what Apple has planned? 

Microsoft has no idea what Apple has planned for the iPad and its mobile operating system in 2011. The company could offer an incremental update or it could deliver something revolutionary. The smart move on Microsoft's part would have been to wait and see what Apple would do and then respond with a worthwhile solution of its own. Instead, Microsoft seems to be planning to talk tablets in January before Apple shows its hand. That's a mistake, and it will contribute to Microsoft's inability to catch Steve Jobs and company. 

10. The vendors aren't there 

When it's all said and done, Microsoft needs to rely on vendors to gain market share in the tablet space. So far, HP has most notably offered a Windows 7-based tablet to customers. Acer is planning to offer an option next year, as well. Meanwhile, several vendors, including LG, Samsung, and Acer, along with several others, have either offered up Android-based tablets already or are planning to do so in the New Year. Simply put, Microsoft is facing a vendor battle with Google. The market battle with Google could hinder its ability to fend off Apple.

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

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel