Space Ramblings

Who Cares if Microsoft has a Tablet?

Drawing out these hypefests by leaking a little bit of information at a time works because tech websites need pageviews and that leads them to participate in the game by passing on the teasers until the big event happens… and then nothing.

windows 8 tablet

It’s like Rubik’s Cube… but with Apps

Remember when we were supposed to be excited about iOS6? iOS6 came and nothing happened. A Microsoft Tablet is even more of a non-event.

Microsoft has an operating system that’s meant to run on tablets. That is a lot more important than Microsoft putting out its own tablet. Google put out its own phone and that bombed. Microsoft has more hardware experience than Google and its tablet will be more Zune and XBox, but it’s not going to be an iPad killer. It will be competitive in the audio and video department. It may even be integrated with the XBox for more of a fused gaming experience. And that’s that.

A gaming and entertainment tablet. Microsoft’s version of Kindle Fire. And that’s the best case scenario. Imagine the Zune bigger and that’s what you get. Tied to XBox Live accounts. And it’s a stupid idea.

Microsoft is trying to establish Windows 8 as the Tablet OS in a confused marketplace. The way not to do that is to then butt in with your own branded tablet. And Microsoft has a history of doing this. It could have had its own iTunes, but it sabotaged that to launch the Zune. Now it’s sending mixed signals to hardware companies that might license Windows 8, that it’s going to compete with them directly. And why shouldn’t they light out for Android after that?

Windows is still a success because Microsoft doesn’t make a high profile PC. If it did, Dell would suddenly find reasons to promote Linux. This isn’t idle talk either. Microsoft does make the XBox and it has been shortchanging the Windows Games marketplace over that.

Windows 8’s Metro Apps have already pushed game companies in other directions. Valve is building a console and expanding hard into Mac and Linux. But that’s small potatoes since Microsoft has alienated desktop users to launch Windows 8 on tablets. If it alienates the companies it needs to make its tablet happen, it will be the most self-destructive move by a company since Sony tanked the PS3 to win the Blu-Ray battle.


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