∞ And this is why Microsoft is doomed

If you don’t lead, you follow. If you don’t follow, you’re doomed. Hello Microsoft.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]There is no doubt that Apple is leading the tablet industry. They have innovated the hardware and software and made an unpopular concept a huge success.

Others have seen this and followed Apple’s lead. Samsung, Google, RIM, HP, and others are all entering the market. Microsoft, however, isn’t ready to step in.

Speaking at a lunch in Australia held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Microsoft’s global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie said he wasn’t sure if the iPad would “remain with us or not.”

It’s almost like Mundie was planted by Apple to advise Steve Ballmer to not enter the tablet market. I mean, really, could Apple have asked for anything more?

Mundie apparently believes that the smartphone will be “your most personal computer.” The laptop, as he sees it, is a “portable desk.”

“I think there’s an important distinction — and frankly one we didn’t jump on at Microsoft fast enough — between mobile and portable,” said Mundie.

So, knowing that you missed the boat the first time around, I guess the thing to do this time is to watch that boat pass you by again.

Great strategy Microsoft, keep up the good work.

  • Alan Smith

    Correct. And I cannot believe analysts who say that the Nokia/Windows phone will rise to number 2. What are they smoking? Nokia has failed and the last I saw of the Windows 7 phone were lackluster sales. So 2 failures make a success?

    • Anonymous

      Nokia and Microsoft… a perfect example of how two “wrongs” don’t make a “right”. Neither company had the vision to understand how the landscape of the mobile market was changing. Yet, according to IDC, all existing Symbian customers, even those on “feature phones” will all switch to Windows Phone based devices.

      Microsoft continues to make the fundamental mistake of trying to throw the kitchen sink in with the tablet OS. History has proven that Gate’s / Microsoft’s vision of a tablet is flawed. Gates still thinks the stylus should be the primary input… obviously because that’s so convenient or something. Ballmer still thinks the desktop OS with desktop software is the answer. Again… another failure. Meanwhile, the Windows Phone 7 group has a product with at least a competitive fighting chance. At least something worthy of third or fourth place.

  • Great. We, the collective we, the big we, don’t need Microsoft around any way.

    • Speak for yourself. Apple needs the competition, and so do consumers.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Gates insists on a stylus is that it makes the job of converting Windows to the tablet much easier by replacing the single point of interaction once provided by the mouse with the tip of the stylus. No need to upgrade existing apps and backward compatibility with the existing software companies already own is preserved.

    The problem come when you wish to use more than one point of interaction such as on their Surface product. Like the iPad, Surface represents an opportunity to incorporate several more points of interaction but at the cost of backward compatibility with existing apps.

    Faced with the choice of giving up their monopoly position on the desktop to pursue this new market, Microsoft has elected to kick the can down the road to the next version of their desktop OS instead of extending the unfinished WP7 Metro interface to a tablet (where it is perhaps best suited) product.

    With Metro, Kinect, and Surface in one device, Microsoft could have really kicked some ass. instead they elected to punt and then ceded that market to Apple and potentially Google for another 2 years.

    • Vamsmack

      Thats just shitty UI design. They could totally port Win7 with a touch interface with a little inspiration it’s just they are too stuck in the idea like you said of using a stylus.

  • I read an article elsewhere which this reminds me of regarding Steve Ballmer’s hopeless devotion to his company holding them back from innovation.

    This smacks of exactly that. They had the Courier which was widely talked up among the tech press as an iPad killer, yet it was dumped when Robbie Bach took it to Baller and his execs to see if he could get funding for his project. Big fat no. Just like Nintendo’s decision to cancel the “Play Station” SNES addon project at a huge press event no less, this was a mistake that will see them confined to last place behind Apple, RIM, Google, Samsung and Motorola for years to come.

    Evolve and conquer. Stand still long enough, and someone is bound to come and pull your trousers down.

    • Anonymous

      Courier was always a joke. They don’t have enough mobile software to clone an iPad, let alone do something original. Courier would have cost $1200, which is 3x the average selling price of a Microsoft system. And if people wanted Courier, there would already be an iPad app that required 2 iPads, still hundreds of dollars less than Courier. Nobody wants that stuff. It is a kind of nerd porno is all. A sketch of something that is not practical.

      Microsoft is doing what they have always done. Their iPad is due in 2020, ten years after Apple, as usual.

      • I don’t think the Courier was a joke, so much as it was a fiction.

  • Anonymous

    The ipad market is only a $40 billion dollar market this year – if Ms had any success in this market (abve $2 million in sales), they’d have to hire another 11,000 employees from the DMV and that’s a lot of hassle plus this guy above would have to spend MORE of his day plotting out how to infight with another MS VP running the tablet division – less corporate competition for the parkig space and promotions … plus they might assign it to him and clearly he cannot figure how a slab of glass could be a personal computer – it’s freakin’ spooky! It’s like an etch an sketch come to life!

  • Anonymous

    I’m Andy and I’m a PC. I find it difficult to stand and watch the Microsoft car crash these days. I can’t see myself moving from Windows to OS X or Linux but, as a tech junkie, it’s soul destroying to see my ‘team’ frequently show themselves so far removed from the zeitgeist they once owned.

    Time for Ballmer to go.

    • The good news is, once you make the switch you’ll quickly look back and say, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’ It’s all good! It used to be that one of the attractions to Microsoft was, total market domination. This is certainly not true today. In the last 10 years, Microsoft has gone from total market domination to, struggling to compete in the post-PC era.

  • Slphilips

    Some of the arguments for a stylus SEEM to make some sense. Math/science equation and symbol manipulation with handwriting recognition. Especially for students. Don’t really know how big a deal this might be. And I suspect someone can figure out ways around that needing a stylus. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous

      You can do all those things with a finger on an iPad. The iPad digitizer is single-pixel sensitive. Chinese characters are drawn to enter them. But if you want a stylus, you buy one for $14 from Pogo.

      • pmcd

        “You can do all those things with a finger on an iPad. The iPad digitizer is single-pixel sensitive. Chinese characters are drawn to enter them. But if you want a stylus, you buy one for $14 from Pogo.”

        You cannot write a math lecture on an iPad. I truly wish you could, but even a Pogo “stylus” doesn’t provide a nice enough output for presenting a mathematical lecture if you do a lot of on the spot writing. It’s not handwriting recognition that matters there, but it has to basically look like what you would write on paper or a board. Penultimate comes almost close. I have a couple of tablet PC’s and an iPad. Believe me, there’s nothing more I’d like then to be able to only use the iPad. Unless there is some solution available that I am unaware of I just don’t see it. The only decent solution for now is a Wacom screen with an active solution. In any case I would very much appreciate any information you might have on the issue.


        • Out of curiosity, why doesn’t the Pogo give you nice enough output? It’s a pen. I have one for drawing, because drawing with my finger just doesn’t feel right. My only complaint with the Pogo isn’t with the iPad; it’s that I wish the iPad was pressure sensitive.

          It is that you need higher resolution, so you can write smaller?

        • Hannibal

          hummm, how many potential customer do have to write a math lecture on their iPad? Anybody, please raise your hands!

          • Bob

            Raises hand

  • patz

    “It’s almost like Mundie was planted by Apple to advise Steve Ballmer to not enter the tablet market.” Brilliant!

  • Anonymous

    The way I see it tablets will only gain traction because we consume more than we produce and the iPad and like devices are just right for the job.

  • Anonymous

    Someone should have asked him about Courier (http://gizmodo.com/#!5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet)

    What was the point of all that hoopla?

  • Tippy

    So, if Microsoft is always behind then when did Apple come out with Kinect and PixelSense?

  • hengels

    Microsoft is totally missing all momentum in the tablet market and it seems that they are not capable to create a phone OS with significant market importance. Apple, RIM and Android phone manufacturers must be very happy that Nokia is burying itself with WP7. There is no way that the chemistry of these two global players will allow to create early enough competitive products. The wrong OS, everything too late and insufficient support of Nokia’s employees and classic developer clientele. Most strategies which were made on a “green table” don’t stand the test of time and real life. The predicted market share of the future for Nokia/WP7 is pure illusion and the result of properly lanced marketing. At least something where Microsoft excels. But in reality it is only illusion, empty promises mixed with FUD addressed to other platforms. I am sorry to see a great hardware manufacturer like Nokia getting drowned by WP7. And I am curious when Microsoft will be capable to show a tablet OS. Next millenium?