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Microsoft's Approach To Battling the iPad In the Workplace 249

Posted by timothy
from the pound-on-the-table dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Even though Microsoft's public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple's slate is 'iPad? What iPad?', the Redmondians are preparing the company's partners for battle in 2011. Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad's encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check out a PowerPoint dated December 2010 on 'Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs' that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft's slate strategy to business users." Besides the iPad, there are also the raft of tablets (available and upcoming) running Android, and Blackberry's QNX tablet that Microsoft will have to sell past.
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Microsoft's Approach To Battling the iPad In the Workplace

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  • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:11PM (#35002954)

    MS stock has been flatlining the past decade. Ballmer is a dog, chasing another car/successful_product instead of innovating on their own.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    • Windows Phone 7 (not "the Windows 7 Phone") is doing just fine. It hasn't been a runaway success, but its done reasonably well on all carriers its been released on and is coming to both Verizon and Sprint soon.

      Don't let me get in the way of your trolling, or wishful thinking, or whatever it is though.
      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @12:08AM (#35003552) Journal

        It has a presence, yes... but doing "just fine"? The iPhone and Androids each have more units in the channel than WP7 has in-channel and activated *combined*. This is in spite of the fact that WinMo (in various incarnations) have been for sale for (almost) a decade.

        I don't know about you, but if I had a product that was universally panned for nearly a decade, and my latest, greatest attempt at rectifying that issue was met with a universal "meh"? I wouldn't exactly call it "doing just fine".

        • by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @01:38AM (#35004658) Journal

          Their big selling point has always been Outlook/Exchange compatibility. Actually, that might well be the only real selling point they've ever had. The latest incarnation is an attempt to make their products "cool" so they would appeal to people who don't care about Outlook (read: people who purchase phones for themselves rather than receive them from their employer), and to catch up a bit on some of the corner business uses they didn't think of but could implement easily (including some which don't need implementing, as they can be done from anything with an Internet connection)

          Anyway, I suspect that the enterprise slate market is Microsoft's for the taking once they deliver a working product. They're the only ones who can really do Outlook/Exchange integration, not to mention the rest of Office. I don't pretend to understand why so many people have such tremendous hard-ons for MS Office (I think that there are perfectly functional free and Free alternatives which are just as good at anything that isn't best done on far more intensive software anyway...), but the fact remains that few corporations are willing or able to just ditch it altogether, and unless your product is compatible it's unlikely to make much headway.

          • I agree to an extent on the tablet front, except for one small bit:

            HP currently offers Slate 500's with Windows 7 on it [hp.com], and has been doing so since October. The specs are roughly that of an HP Mini netbook in a tablet form factor. Mind you, it costs $800 a pop, and has a smaller screen. OTOH, it has everything that folks assert businesses are gagging for, since it has Windows 7 on it. Given that Microsoft hasn't exactly been bragging on it, I'm thinking it probably isn't selling all too well.

            Meanwhile, sto

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Quote
              it has everything that folks assert businesses are gagging for

              Ha-ha.
              Don't make me laugh.
              They are NOT repeat not gagging for Windows 7.
              Most corporate builds are not W7 yet. We tried at my place. But the main sales (Custom built in C/C++ with a bit of Java) app keep bombing out on W7 yet on Vista & XP and even Server 2008 it works fine. MS Support don't have a clue.

              I commute an hour on the train into work. I've yet to see more than a handful of laptops with W7. Vista? lots. even some really horrendou

            • after all, it's not like you're going to type a novel on a tablet...

              Actually, I know a guy who had his laptop stolen, so he has switched to writing his book on his iPad. He says it's actually a better device for the job--once you add a Bluetooth keyboard, of course.

          • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @09:13AM (#35007448)

            Except MSFT won't modify Outlook, or Office to work on a touch screen. They have had 8 years and not done it once why would they bother now?

            WP7's exchange support is also lacking behind android and the iPhone. try reading some of the business reviews on it. WP7 focuses on twitter and facebook more than Exchange.

            People won't change what they know. it is why Office 2007 and 2010 have less users than Office 2003(which is what I have at work) Businesses don't want to spend $2000 for 10 people to get a new office suite every 3 years. not when that suite will work just fine in 10 years.

            why is IE 6 still around? Because people coded for it and it alone and now they can't/won't change the applications they have.

          • by s73v3r (963317)

            They're the only ones who can really do Outlook/Exchange integration, not to mention the rest of Office.

            See, I think the way to capitalize on this is to make apps for Outlook and Office on every mobile platform. There are millions of people who would pay upwards of $20 to get Office on their iOS or Android device. Rumor has it that $20 is about what MS is licensing out WP7 for. Instead of putting all those resources into creating a new OS, and working with hardware, etc, they could just bring Office to everything else. They don't have to compete with Apple and Google, and no matter which of them wins, MS wins

        • Microsoft's Problem is that it has become a "me too, but with Windows(tm)" company. It is a "Windows(tm)" company, and almost everything it does revolves around "Windows(tm)".

          In the mean time, Linux is storming the "everywhere windows can't go" places. Windows Tablets have tried to exist for at least 7 years, maybe longer. Windows will not ever be a "Tablet" OS. This is why Apple and Android* are killing it in the Phone/Tablet marketplace right now. Both are designed for that platform with industrial size O

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gig (78408)

        Windows Mobile 6.5 is outselling Windows Phone 7. That is all you need to know. Total failure.

      • Windows Phone 7 (not "the Windows 7 Phone") is doing just fine.

        Have you ever USED one?

        They're not as appallingly bad as previous incarnations, but they're not interesting either. The interface doesn't actually do anything different or better, it's all just looks.

        WP7 doesn't bring anything new to the market,and the interface won't scale to tablets. That's why MS is thrashing around trying to persuade partners to shoehorn an OS designed around desktop mouse/keyboard interaction onto them.

        It'll be h

      • Wrong place for saything something that isn't negative about Microsoft and their products.
        • If you're going to make a claim that a product is doing well -- when almost everyone believes differently -- it's useful to bring evidence. The poster didn't give evidence for his claim. I think that's why people are questioning his assertion, not just because it's a Microsoft product.
      • By what metric do you claim that Windows Phone 7 is "doing just fine"? How do you know it's "done reasonably well on all carriers it's been released on"? Where are your numbers and how do you define it as doing well against the competing platforms? If you have some evidence, I would be very interested. I just haven't seen anything to support what you're saying -- and I've yet to see a single person with a Windows Phone in real life. I've yet to even hear anyone in real life even TALK about its existence. So
      • by symbolset (646467) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:46AM (#35005560) Journal

        Your comment, it's just not true. [j.mp] (not my chart, btw). The integrated Facebook app is a good indicator of a mobile platform's market performance. Facebook users are common enough that they make a significant and representative statistical sample.

        WP7 peaked below 1.5% market share on release, and is declining. It's now seeing about 4,300 new adopters each day worldwide, which is pathetic even for Windows Mobile. There is no way this can be described as "doing just fine." Its user base will never hit the 1.5 million units Microsoft claims are already delivered on its current trend, so somebody's about to get stuck with some dead inventory.

        Its replacement Windows 8 has already been shown running at CES and the roadmap has a 1/7/2013 in-store availability scheduled. W8 being a full Windows rather than a mobile OS will of course not be compatible. Intel has committed that they will field phone platforms with it that run regular Windows applications on x86 phones. They're "all in".

        So there's no reason to buy a WP7 phone. It failed to thrive, its execution date is set. There's no reason to develop apps for a phone with few users and no long-term prospects either.

        Funny story: the KIN [reddit.com] had about 8,000 sales and 300,000 Facebook likes. The integrated WP7 phone Facebook app has a little over 300,000 users now and less than 4,000 Facebook likes. It looks like buying Facebook likes has gone out of vogue with Microsoft's marketing department. But apparently hiring astroturfers to post on slashdot has not.

    • MS stock has been flatlining the past decade.

      MS is not a growth company, and hasn't been for years now. That's why that stock pays dividends.

      • by symbolset (646467)
        2% dividends against a stock that decreases in value by 7%, both annual for last year, isn't exactly a great way to grow your retirement fund.
  • they need to have a slate strategy before they can explain it.
    • Exactly. Is this Ballmer's secret new business plan? Sell PowerPoint slideshows to customers instead of competitive products?

      Pathetic. As someone mentioned in the article's comments, this is just a rehash of the same PowerPoint presentation they would have circulated in 2007, when the iPhone first started attracting attention.

      • How does Ballmer still have a job? THAT is my question.

        Microsoft had better get out of the "We Do Windows" only mode they've been operating on since ... it doesn't matter. They better start building cross OS support into the product strategy or else risk losing everything forever. And the fastest way for that is to fire Ballmer and put in someone with vision of where things are going in 5 years.

        If they can't right the ship in a hurry, Microsoft will be stuck in legacy Corporate support mode for the rest of

        • by mbkennel (97636)

          "How does Ballmer still have a job? THAT is my question".

          Bill Gates is Chairman of the Board and the biggest stockholder, and he doesn't give a crap any more.

        • Re:one problem: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by symbolset (646467) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @05:08AM (#35006058) Journal

          This is an easy one to explain. Did you study the story of Beowulf in school? Bill Gates started out with the goal to be wealthy and famous. So he created this monster. It was feeble at first, but he got a lucky hit and fed it profits and it grew strong enough to procure for him and his people the desired kingdom of wealth and fame.

          By about 1982 he realized that he was already wealthier and more famous than he needed to be. He had more wealth than anybody could ever reasonably spend. Such profligate wealth does not incent your progeny to high levels of achievement. But he had many useful years left, and this big powerful monster. So he turned to hubris: The philanthropist's dream of immortal praise - to using his monster to build vast wealth with which to spend his late years dispensing with problems that have plagued mankind.

          Being the Alpha geek he is and founded in the moral certainty that his deeds were ultimately for the greater good, he then set his monster upon his opponents with greater zeal than ever before. For fifteen years his monster feasted on all comers growing stronger and stronger. It laid waste to the tech landscape, utterly destroying all who opposed it and most of its allies as well. This voracious beast has no moral compass, knows not friend from foe. It knows only hunger and power. His wealth grew to unimaginable proportions. Even though he bled the monster regularly, it grew in power and hunger logarithmically.

          Sometime around 1997 he realized the problem. The monster had vanquished so many enemies, had become so immortal, was so greedy and hungry, that it was in danger of becoming his legacy. In every place it achieved dominance it halted all learning, all innovation, all progress. Though he built a thousand bridges, salved a hundred diseases, found a way to feed the masses, that would not be his legacy - his monster would would wipe out all of those good deeds. It became his Grendel. The monster itself was likely to be the thing he was remembered for long after he was gone. And his name would be spat upon by the serfs who labored under its brutal tyranny. Something had to be done.

          And so he pulled its teeth. Instead of bleeding it a little at a time he bled it all at once with "special dividends". And then he cut at its guts, giving it incompetent marketing execs. Knowing guile to be its greatest weapon he laid bare its lying ways before the world. And of course, he bled it still to fund his charitable endeavors, but more prodigiously than ever before. And he gave it an incompetent rider, a captain sure to find no shore - a bumbling fool that could plausibly keep it from doing too much harm.

          For a decade now it's been blinded, as he was its vision. It's been bled. It's been led in circles and still it doesn't die. He's as shocked by that as you are. Still as it stumbles blindly about it subsists on bits of flesh it finds. Still it finds hopeful fools to lay down with it, expecting to arise in the morning the better for it. Still it hungers to be unleashed from this bumbling fool.

          But he can't have it. If Bill Gates is to be well remembered, to achieve his immortal hero goal, the monster he unleashed upon us all must die. He'll find a way. I believe in him.

          But for those hoping he's going to return and give his vision back to the monster, to revive it and restore it to its greater glory? No. That is not the plan.

    • Nonsense. I'm sure "marketing collateral" will do the trick!
    • Re:one problem: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mark72005 (1233572) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:29PM (#35003080)
      All they can do is flail, obviously, because they have no presence in this space.

      Microsoft's approach to battling the iPad is the same as it was for battling the iPod and the iPhone - show up a day late and a dollar short, with an inferior product, and then attempt to leverage what assets they have in terms of vendor lock-in to pry their way in.

      Oh well - some more of those lame "to the cloud" ad buys should help. (not)
      • by grapeape (137008)

        Sadly your right. I had high hopes for the ZuneHD, technology wise it was thing of wonder but they half assed the app store, screwed potential developers and basically killed any potential excitement for it before the device really even had a chance to get off the ground. Most of their "innovation" seems to be reactive rather than proactive, add in their absolute paranoia about controlling their skewed "perception" of the device (they did the same with the 360 which is why it still has no browser or keybo

      • This does not work, windows is not an argument for buying a tablet especially if it becomes unusable then. The funny stuff is that their second biggest problem used to be their ultimate vendor lockin. The IE, now that serious html5 webapps crawl up left and right for tablets they dont have anything worthwhile to show off which does not lack serious features literally any other tablet has. Face it while IE9 is nice regarding css transitions it is not really up to what webkit the current mobile defacto standa

  • It may not be the best OS of the bunch, but the fact of the matter is that it will run on a whole host of hardware. Apple and RIM have lost in this respect, because there will be very little choice. Microsoft seems to be in bed with HP. WebOS and Android will take the market because soon enough someone will be running it on a toaster.
    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:24PM (#35003052)

      It may not be the best OS of the bunch, but the fact of the matter is that it will run on a whole host of hardware. Apple and RIM have lost in this respect, because there will be very little choice. Microsoft seems to be in bed with HP. WebOS and Android will take the market because soon enough someone will be running it on a toaster.

      And we've seen how this capability has directly led to Linux' dominance of the desktop computing market.

      • This is the year of Linux on the tablet.
      • Linux isn't dominating desktops.It is dominating in all sorts of other places, often hidden away from the user. It is in all sorts of embedded devices and is now on Smartphones and Tablets, both of which Microsoft doesn't have any real clue about. At least they haven't shown any clue.

        My DroidX is a good example of Linux being where Microsoft has no clue. No, it isn't Ubuntu (X/Gnome/KDE) or some other Desktop Linux. It doesn't have to be. But it is Linux just the same. That Nook my friend just bought is And

      • I know that grammar trolling isn't cool, but I'd like you to know that the possessive of "Linux" is "Linux's". You can't have an apostrophe after an X just dangling like that. (wikipedia [wikipedia.org]) Please tell all your friends.
    • by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:37PM (#35003108)

      It may not be the best OS of the bunch, but the fact of the matter is that it will run on a whole host of hardware.

      Which means very little by itself. Linux runs on lots of hardware but isn't remotely dominating the operating system market. There is more to it than that. It needs to run on the hardware people want and run the software people want and have a critical mass of users of those devices. Pulling all that off is no mean feat. Possible you will be right but you shouldn't be so certain.

      Apple and RIM have lost in this respect, because there will be very little choice.

      You are presuming two things. One, that people will care about choice in hardware. The iPod is a great example of a device that has dominated its market despite a multitude of alternative hardware choices available. Choice in hardware might not matter much at all. Two, that Apple & RIM need a monopoly to be successful. The iPhone is wildly profitable and popular and Apple is making a fortune even though there are plenty of other choices out there. The iPhone does not dominate the market the way the iPod does but you'd have a hard time arguing it isn't a successful product. Apple's strategy is a bit of a high wire act and they could easily screw it up but they've shown every reason to think they might succeed.

      WebOS and Android will take the market because soon enough someone will be running it on a toaster.

      My wife was just telling me the other day, "Why isn't our toaster web enabled? Isn't it about time someone did that?" [/sarcasm]

    • You realize HP makes WebOS, right? And that so far it only runs on Palm/HP hardware? And that HP has basically totally killed off its plans for Windows tablet hardware in favor of WebOS? Your comment makes no sense...
    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      [Most] large companies love standardization. Every company I have worked for picks exactly one model of laptop and desktop from HP and sticks to buying that same model for anyone that needs the devices until the model gets discontinued or the need for faster machines come (and at that point everyone gets replacements to retain the standardization.)

      As long as the tablet meets the minimum requirements, I think Apple has the upper hand thanks to that precise hardware standardization. I can see large companies

    • by bonch (38532)

      Actually, Android has less of a chance to succeed on tablets because carriers won't be able to push it so much like they are on mobile phones.

    • First of all how many tablets are available using the "best" version of Android for tablets Honeycomb? Well none right now. The Xoom is the only one in the future and so far all we got out of CES is that sometime this year it will launch. There was no commitment to deadline or pricing.

      Second I happened to be talking to an iPad/iPhone developer and asked him why he hadn't considered Android. His answer was that he did, but his main problem with developing on Android was that every device doesn't have the

    • by gig (78408) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @01:56AM (#35004822)

      That is ridiculous. Lots of hardware doesn't matter. We're talking about a screen and a bezel you hold, with a generic ARM and flash storage and Wi-Fi/3G. Why would you need to switch from IPad for hardware reasons? They are the acknowledged design leader and also the price leader, just as in iPods, and they have the most hardware accessories and custom cases.

      Everything happens in the software on a tablet. Having native C apps, desktop class PC apps, is a billion times more important than a variety of hardware that all runs the same small set of Java applets that only do Web-class functionality. Nobody but Apple has native C apps on ARM, and nobody has full-size apps except Apple.

      We are talking about corporate here. iOS has deployment and security features that Android lacks. It has Xcode rapid development tools that Android lacks. Corporations can deploy their own apps wirelessly. Their users already know the iOS interface. Even if the users know Android 2, the tablet version 3 is different.

      What you have to do is resist saying "Android" and tell me why I'm supposed to pay $799 for a Motorola iPad clone with 32GB and mini Java applets and no installed base and not even available yet when iPad 3G 32GB is $729 and has a full-range of native C apps and 17 million installed base and an upgraded version likely to ship before Motorola?

      If you look at music players, it is 75% Apple, 10% Samsung, 15% everybody else. How does that relate to your theory that more hardware choices leads to dominating market share? The non-Apple 25% has hundreds of devices. Apple sells more iPod nano than that whole 25%. iPad is the "iPod PC" the components are very similar and you buy native C apps instead of music. So what has changed from the music player market that users are going to prefer Motorola this time?

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:19PM (#35003008) Journal

    What kind of commercial uses does the iPad have? TFA doesn't really mention. I imagine it's pretty good for showing designs to clients - slicker than a laptop, in a situation where impressions matter, even if it would be performing the same function - but I can't think of that many other corporate functions that it fulfils better than the existing tech.

    • by codegen (103601)
      There are all sorts of applications with portability and vertical integration. Lawyers, for example, are using them in courtrooms during Jury voire dire, looking up Jury members facebook pages. There are places that are still using clipboards and paper where the iPad is being adopted. I know of several places in labs where the ipad are being used.
    • by Jestrzcap (46989) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:34PM (#35003098)

      All of the upper management in my company carry an iPad, not for technical reasons but because they like it and they think our customers like it. Site updates are now being checked against iPads and site traffic from iPads has exceeded 1%.

      I walked by a managers office the other day, a sign was posted that "The future of CRM is mobile" and a picture of an iPhone, Android and iPad.

      Rather than carry my laptop around these days I carry my iPad for email, and other intranet access.

    • It has plenty of use at my workplace because of the Citrix plugins.
    • by rrossman2 (844318) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:43PM (#35003144)

      We use Ipads a lot in the ETC center of the College of Education at Pen State. With remote desktop, exchange integration, the size and portability, web functionality, it's a great tool for sys admins who need to go help others while still retaining the ability to remote into servers and other such devices to change configs, manage support tickets, update databases etc. Less bulky than a laptop, while providing the tools we need.

      It's not to say Android devices wouldn't do the job as well, but the iPads were out first and fit the bill nicely (and being on the Mac Admin side it fit well with the existing infrastructure).

      They're also used during interviews to record audio so we can easily go back and check on things that were said

    • by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @12:08AM (#35003540)

      Depends how it's handled, although most the things I will bring up can also be achieved with an Android tablet (with proper Tablet version, until Honeycomb comes out, the iPad is the only real option.)

      Here are a few examples: A corporation can get a corporate apple development license, this means they can write and load any proprietary software they may need into the device. This can range from simple data entry applications with business focus to server management and security administration clients. A big conception between Apple critics is that the iOS is extremely closed and Apple wont let anyone do anything with it. This is not a concern for enterprise since the Enterprise Developer license is only $500/year (nothing for a small company) and allows internal application deployment across all the company devices. No Apple approval involved. Your boss can give you all the porn you want (under the risk of being taken to court under a sexual harassment case but that's a different story.) Apple's device lock-down also means companies can make sure the device they provide their employees does not get misused as users only can install from the company repository and not download games from the App Store, after all, Apple does not allow downloads of even free games without signing into the App Store with a password, and an enterprise is very likely to lock the device to their own account through Parental Controls. Android Openess may be a weakness in that department.

      The iPad also has support for blue-tooth keyboards and Apple's Office contender is available for the device, plus a few others like Documents To Go and Quick Office. It is much more viable than a laptop in a fast-moving office. Example: Mike is working on a presentation on his desk, with a blue-tooth keyboard to do fast typing and a copy of Apple's PowerPoint alternative. He can then just stand up from his desk, leaving the keyboard behind and run to the presentation room. In this presentation room, he meets with another 10 (or whatever) managers with similar situations. Here, he uses his iPad to stream via Air Play his presentation into a projector hooked to an Apple TV receiver. As soon as he is done the next employee moves in with his iPad and takes over the projector without bothering with cabling switching.

      Another situation, a project manager sits with his boss in a one-to-one meeting and he takes his iPad, again, leaving the keyboard behind without bothering to unhook or un-dock a heavy laptop. At the meeting he is asked for some information and he quickly access it without having to go back to his desktop or be forced to carry a laptop. In a fast moving office environment, dragging laptops left and right is not viable. An iPad (or any well done tablet) can stay on without draining any battery and back in action with the click of a button. A laptop requires, in the best case, to be sleeping and closed, then opened up, accommodate in your lap, and type a password to log in. Worst case may require to wake from hibernation or even a full boot.

      I seen people pass iPads around a table, specially to show everyone some important email. Requires much less foresight than printing emails you think may be important.

      In a warehouse, the iPad is just a bliss. No warehouse depends on laptops for anything. [Almost] every advanced warehouse has bulky devices designed for "quick inventory management" (you may had seen them in the hands of UPS delivery guys) or hand held PDA/BarCode Scanner hybrid devices. Both tend to be heavily specialized and still force the employees to deal with desktops set up throughout the warehouse. Off course, others just use paper and a clipboard. Tablets can drastically streamline this and open the door for much much more due to their flexibility.

      IT staff can also use tablets for very effective remote server management. From simplistic VNC/RDP clients to dedicated management tools, amazing things can be achieved while stuck far from work or home if equipped with a 3G ready tablet.

      As I stated at

      • by hoggoth (414195)

        Ok, new Slashdot layout, how the hell do I "Read The Rest Of This Comment"?

        Clicking on that link just shows me the same top portion of the comment.

    • by Americano (920576)

      I'd say any place where there's a way you could make the functionality available through a reasonably clean web-like interface that doesn't require large amounts of raw text entry would be a suitable possibility, with bonus points if the solution's mobility and/or allowance for standing/walking while using it make life simpler for the user.

      For instance, in the medical industry - diagnostic imaging ("let me pull up that x-ray from the database to look at it again..."), patient charts ("let me take a look at

    • by gig (78408)

      iPad can do anything that C, C++, and Objective-C can do, which is everything. The Cocoa frameworks enable you to do Mac-like things very easily. For example, audio, video, wireless MIDI. The developer tools are free, and so easy to use that there are kids with apps, and a physicist used these tools to create the World Wide Web. Organizations can deploy their own apps wirelessly outside of App Store, and trust App Store to safely deliver additional apps without malware, and there are like 400,000 mini apps

    • by owlstead (636356)

      In the netherlands there are a lot of public servants that get it for use in meetings - the general idea being that you distribute your presentations with it. This gets rid of the paper (and it stops the annoying sound of keyboards tapping away, I would imagine).

  • the majority of Android tablets are GPL violating, making it seriously risky for E.U. and U.S.A. companies to import them. GPL compliance, which is important for the Linux Kernel portion (which everyone forgets about, including google), is running at about 2%, and those are usually the ones designed in the E.U. or the U.S.A, which end up being more expensive and so less attractive.

    • I think the bigger problem will the the same as we see with Android in the phone space.

      Rather than the "open" platform resulting in widespread standardization, we only see more fragmentation as each vendor implements their own locked-down flavor of it.
      • by grapeape (137008)

        Im really hoping that honeycomb will change that, while the fragmentation problem is certainly real, its really not the hardware folks fault as much as it is Google's. Google put a restriction list on Android that made it impossible for anything that isn't a phone to fully comply enough to provide access to things like the Market Place and Google Experience, as a result the only "full" android experiences were the few tablets that had "oversized phone" features that many people simply don't need. Honeycom

      • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @03:38AM (#35005500) Journal

        Rather than the "open" platform resulting in widespread standardization, we only see more fragmentation as each vendor implements their own locked-down flavor of it.

        You're kidding, right?

        Because Angry Birds works just as well on my Droid2 as it does on my wifes LG Optimus. So does Tune-In Radio, (must have!) and EzTether. (another must-have)

        In other words, I have yet to notice any significant "fragmentation" between my phone and my wife's, despite being on different networks and being different phones at different pricepoints.

        Yes there are differences, pretty much akin to the differences when running Windows 7 on a Dell vs running Windows 7 on a Gateway... pretty comparable. The default icons are different, and the "desktop" is arranged slightly differently. (OMG!)

        I read, today, yet another article about "Linux fragmentation"... .something I've been reading about for over TEN YEARS. Somehow, it hasn't really happened, despite Linux running on everything from a low-end ARM CPU all the way up to 128-core SMP/NUMA servers.

        Are there differences in Linux compiles? Sure! That's sorta the point! A 200 Mhz ARM core with 4 MB of RAM has quite different needs than a 32-core database server with 192 GB of RAM. One size does NOT fit all!

        Are there GPL violations? Well, yeah, but they do tend to not be all that major, because major violations tend to cause problems for companies that perform them.

    • by mcrbids (148650)

      Yeah, but let's be honest for a moment, shall we? The worst case is that they'll be sued and will have to disclose the source. And when all is said and done, some drivers for some variations of ARM CPUs we be contributed to the Linux Kernel.

      Perhaps the almost-fatal flaw of the GPL is that there is really no penalty for violation other than the obligation to disclose. I give considerable doubt that any importer is giving more than a half-excited yawn about GPL issues.

      As far as Google being complaint with the

  • Oh, Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:22PM (#35003032) Homepage

    I know you employ some brilliant, passionate, rock star developers. You could probably crush your competitors, if only you didn't move so conservatively at a slug's pace. Trim some of that management, get rid of the red tape, and use your devs!

  • Microsoft for their honesty in marketing

    PREDICTABLE ENTERPRISE SECURITY UPDATE PROCESS - security patches released 2nd Tuesday of each month

    (at the last slide of the presentation: http://i.zdnet.com/gallery/6188791-672-464.jpg [zdnet.com])
  • by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:24PM (#35003050)

    Drop a $7K coffee table [gizmodo.com] on it.

    Sorry, someone had to say it.

  • I don't understand why MS would have to sell a competitor in a "corporate" environment to the iPad. The iPad has almost nothing to offer.

    None of the selling points for corporate IT are hit by the iPad. TCO? Management? Administration? Application control? AD integration? The iPad simply has none of these. Let me know when the iPad is able to be controlled by the same mechanisms WinMo phones and Windows desktops are (as well as Linux desktops and to a (very) small degree, Android phones) and we'll talk.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Enterprise can get a Corporate Developer License that allows them to write any software they want for their own devices. At that point, the tablet can do whatever they want it to do, those deployments within the company are not subject to App Store policy. I have not worked with it, either, but I think they added some remote pushing of updates for in-house apps at some point, maybe with or a bit before OS4 came out.

      By pure nature of the device they can control what software gets installed since they don't h

      • There are rumors Mobile Me will get much better this year, perhaps that's how they plan to expand it.

        There are always rumors that Mobile Me will get much better, perhaps this year.

    • by bonch (38532)

      The iPad is making big gains in enterprise, actually. You can get a Corporate Developer License and do what you want with it. I don't know what you're basing your conclusions on.

    • by gig (78408)

      You are under informed. iPad has all that stuff. iPad replaces a Windows PC. TCO is dramatically reduced. Corporations deploy their own apps, wirelessly. They are easy to manage.

      • by Macthorpe (960048)

        Correctly if I'm wrong, but I didn't think the iPad had anything like Group Policy or, in fact, any method of managing applications on the device remotely from a central location?

        I imagine that would be make or break in larger organisations.

    • by mbkennel (97636)

      It's not going to work like that.

      Soon, the managers are going to ask whether the Microsoft systems are sufficiently compatible with the iPad ecosystem and management tools.

      When the IT people start bringing up all sorts of complex reasons why there are problems, the next question will be "So, honestly, are those all problems a consequence of stuff the Windows way on the Windows side of things or the iPad way on the iPad side of things?"

      The psychological assumption of Microsoft's implicit invicibility and cen

  • Apple handed Microsoft a huge weapon to which fight this battle, the sudden cancellation of the Xserve with no real replacement. Now whenever Apple goes after the enterprise market Microsoft can point to this and say, "Do you really want to risk introducing a device into your enterprise that Apple can discontinue on a whim leaving you with no easy upgrade/replacement options? Apple has done this in the past and will do it again"
    • by grapeape (137008)

      OSX Server isn't going away, just the low volume ugly rackmount box. I have actually had several clients approach me about the Mac Mini server, most didn't know apple made any servers at all. Though its not there speed wise yet (an i7 next gen could change that), the new mini is as if not more capable and its much more affordable easier to integrate into a small business. The Mac Pro is fully capable of running OSX server as well and those have long surpassed the Xserve hardware wise.

      • Insider but Mac minis and Mac pros are not replacement for Xserves period. In my opinion Apple wasted an absolutely golden opportunity but not pairing up with Oracle to offer OS x server capable sunfires. Apple would have been able to divest itself of having to design and support server level hardware, oracle would not only gain sales but also tons of free publicity, and OS x server customers would be able to stick with their rack mounted hardware. Everyone wins, but since jobs is so obsssed about not do
        • by grapeape (137008)

          Your right they arent replacements but that was the xserves problem...there wasnt a market, downscaling to the mini server imho just opens up opportunities that simply didnt exist with regards to small businesses and home servers. Xserve was a decent product but failed to find any real foothold in any segment, I dont see killiing it as a mistake.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)
      They can say it, but wont make it realistic. Apple was open on the reason: they never sold very well. That already is not true with the iPad.
    • by gig (78408)

      The replacement for Xserve is a bunch of Mac mini servers. The user base already moved to that.

  • Try Again (Score:2, Informative)

    by Darth Cider (320236)

    You're not ready for release. If I increase text size, words disappear. (Words on the left-hand side of the paragraph are pushed further to the left and become invisible. Words on the right-hand side of a paragraph increase in font size and remain visible.)

    I read slashdot on a monitor across the room, so I *always* increase text size. You really have to fix this.

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @12:22AM (#35003752) Homepage

    I've actually found a business segment where the iPad has made a near perfect replacement for the traditional laptop. I don't see MS catching up anytime soon. I just finished up a 4 month project to get one my clients moved to iPad's for courtroom usage. I was approached by the Sr Partner in the firm to come up with a way for him to use his new toy back in August. I was then given an iPad and list of "requirements". It needed to be able to send and receive email, edit word and pdf's, sync with the firms docket calendar, record dictation in a standard format that would be emailable and would be foot pedal compatible and access documents back in the office. After evaluating a ton of products I chose Pages, Evernote, Drop Box and Dictate on Demand with Team Viewer as an option for the more advanced. It worked so well that the Sr Partner decided everyone needed one.

    Now everything they did on a notebook and a digital recorder requiring over $800 in software (MS Office, Gear Player, Adobe Acrobat, etc) has been replaced with a $800 worth of hardware and apps. So far its worked great the most expensive part aside from the iPad itself was the Dictation program which apparently they are quite proud of (it was $99). I had to wait a while for things to get out of beta, but when they say there is an app for that, they aren't kidding. Paired with a bluetooth keyboard (we picked up leather cases from Think Geek that have a keyboard built into the lid) they have all the capability they had with 4x the battery life, better connectivity and all the functionality the needed for a fraction of the price. For me its been great..no mid day treks to the courthouse or off hour support calls because the laptop crashed, got infected or randomly glitched. So far none have had any real issues at all that weren't simply lack of familiarity with the applications. It's going to take an awful lot for MS to be able to compete, windows 7 and its core applications simply aren't designed for finger input, instant on isnt going to happen unless its imbedded and then there is the issue of getting developers on board...based on their tack record with Windows Mobile I don't see it happening any time soon. I really think the biggest rival is going to Google assuming Honeycomb is as good as I hope it will be.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)
      I love this post, thanks for sharing it. I also wish well for Honeycomb, after all, Android has been the best thing to happen to iOS. Without Android, iOS would never had done many things it's now doing. Competition is always good. Unfortunately, even once out, it will take a while for Honeycomb app market to catch up. They will be over a year behind and they wont be catching up on day one by just being there.
      • by grapeape (137008)

        Your welcome...just figured I would share the fact that there really are practical uses for tablets. While your absolutely right about developers from a volume standpoint...I really think it will happen quicker than most expect. Just look at how fast apps starting getting native support on the iPad. Though the selection isn't as deep there the Google Marketplace has most of the bases covered and its only going to get better. Honeycomb will at least I hope will reduce fragmentation and encourage more dev

    • that they can't recompile the Linux kernel while watching flash videos?

    • by multipartmixed (163409) on Wednesday January 26, 2011 @09:55AM (#35007852) Homepage

      I've found another -- sheet music.

      An iPad works really, really for displaying sheet music. It fits on a music stand, the battery lasts forever, the display is gently backlit (goodbye orchestra pit light) and the user interface makes it easy to quickly change pages.

      I tried to use a PC running Tablet XP, but the OS didn't work well in portrait mode, I had to run a cord to it, and the screen needed a stylus.

      Using a laptop is impossible, I can't put one on my piano because it interferes with the controls, and putting it on a music stand just doesn't work.

      One thing I liked about the tablet XP machine - searching for songs was easy with the hand-writing recognition. Touching the screen on the iPad isn't too awful, because the program I use auto-completes, but I may get a bluetooth keyboard and mount it somewhere.

      Oh, I also use my iPad to watch TV in bed. This is better than a laptop, because it doesn't get hot, and I don't have to worry about falling asleep and blocking the vents with a blanket.

  • IBM once tied to sell a mainframe as a "personal computing system." Live by the sword, die by the sword.
  • The practice of chasing the innovators worked for them for a couple of decades and did so because they could always leverage their channel partners and distribution mechanisms to make sure the Microsoft product was there on the PC before the initial innovator. They also used marketing funds to make sure those who shipped Microsoft products did well while they were putting the initial innovator out of business. But you can see from how that does not work for things like the iPod which they really can't lever
  • They are missing the boat. They should take a page from Apple and push the idea that a tablet supplements a desktop, and tailor solutions to the market. Plenty of room to improve over what is available today.

    My laptop made it's last business trip today... Too much to lug for too little benefit.

    BTW, I'm really going to be pissed if I actually do get run over by a bus... Let me live in suspense!

    • by grapeape (137008)

      I've done pretty much the same thing, I only take my laptop with me if I have wiring or domain related work to do. My iPad (or occasionally my G-Tablet) have replaced my notebook, my DSi, my wireless troubleshooting gear and my service ticket book. Its done wonders for my back. I still do the major work on my desktop at home but for daily visits to my clients I haven't found anything I really cant do.

  • This is old Microsoft tactics, if you dont have something worthwhile to show off then promise vaporware and spud fud. This worked really well in the 80s and 90s because they had a myriad of idiotic journalists at their side. I can remember an article in one of the biggest PC magazines pro Windows 3.0 and contra OS/2 which literally stated you dont need multitasking because you cannot do more than one thing yourself. Note this was not an official ad, but a serious article by one so called tech journalist. Ad

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