Microsoft Isn't Worried About This Android Tablet Nonsense

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Isnt Worried About This Android Tablet Nonsense

Android tablets? Sure, Microsoft exec Steve Guggenheimer's heard of them. That doesn't mean he thinks they're worth a toot, at least not in this WSJ interview. A bold stance! And one that doesn't really hold up.

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Guggenheimer was speaking at Computex, and may have just been flush with excitement the announcement over Asus' Windows 7 Eee Pad. Because his logic supporting Windows 7 tablet dominance is as faulty as an overheated Archos 9:

"There are always lots of noises at the beginning of new category," Mr. Guggenheimer said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Computex trade show that opened here today and has focused heavily on tablets. When netbooks-slimmed down, less expensive versions of the traditional notebook PC-were introduced three years ago, he said, "It was 95% not on Windows, and three years later it is 95% on Windows."

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So: because netbooks eventually became almost exclusively Windows machines, tablets will too? Hrmmm.

First, there was no viable, mainstream Linux competitor when netbooks first launched, to say nothing of one with Google's market-moving influence. In fact, if anything Microsoft should be worried about losing their netbook dominance once Chrome OS gets its broad release.

Second, there have already been plenty of Windows tablets on the market that have failed to get any traction in the marketplace. And the platform's most prominent supporter—the HP Slate—was killed in favor of webOS. In fact! HP spent $1.2 billion, effectively, not to have to release a Windows 7 tablet.

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No one's disagreeing that the tablet market is nascent enough that winners and losers have yet to shake themselves out—although the iPad could certainly be considered a win—but if Guggenheimer's comments are indicative of how Microsoft views the market these days, they could be in for a very unpleasant surprise. [WSJ]

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DISCUSSION

The iPad is going to have such a massive lead that it's going to take something pretty, uhh.....magical and revolutionary for anything to make a dent in that.

I'm sure MS, Android, and whoever the hell else decides to make tablet hardware/software will bring something good to the table, but at that point will it even matter? A TRUE Windows tablet is very interesting to me, I'm just not sure how they will execute it. You can't have it be a "normal" OS, it just doesn't work. And if they go the route of making it similar to the iPhone OS, does it lose enough of the PC functionality to where it doesn't matter?

I'm interested to see what the competition comes up with but in the end it's going to be awful difficult for any of them to overtake Apple in this category.