Windows 8 tablet PC OS release: iPad 3 showdown

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
By Richi Jennings (@richi) - May 27, 2011.

Updated: Rumor has it that Microsoft (MSFT) will demonstrate a Windows 8-based tablet PC OS next week. That puts it on-course for a release around the time that the iPad 3 is predicted. Few are expecting an iPad 3 killer, but Redmond has to do something to respond to Apple and Android. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers reach out and touch something.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Volcanic ash and cloud computing...

Ian King and Dina Bass channel their deep throats:

Microsoft ... will preview its Windows operating system designed for tablet computers ... next week, according to three people with knowledge of the company’s plans ... who declined to be identified because the plans are confidential.


Consumer personal-computer shipments dropped 8 percent in the quarter, Microsoft ... said last month. Sales of netbooks plunged 40 percent, partially because of defections to tablets.  

  Ed Oswald adds:

Microsoft may ... have been first to the market with the modern tablet computer, but ... Windows just isn't meant for the touchscreen world. ... Reports [say] that Microsoft would preview the platform in a set of demonstrations next week.


The tablet devices would run on NVidia's Tegra chip ... [with] low power consumption and integrated graphics processor. ... Regaining some traction in the tablet market is ... important for Microsoft. ... It will not only be behind Cupertino but Android as well ... now beginning to build market share. Will it be too late?.  

But Luis da Silva says Microsoft is "a day late, a dollar short":

What is happening to the once most valued company of the world? ... While MS has a lot of cows to milk, they failed to develop new ... business in the last few years. ... Until tablets things were not that bad for Microsoft. ... The market trends did not immediately threaten Microsoft’s market. ... Tablets changed this.


With tablets becoming more powerful, they now ... threaten Windows and Office, Microsoft’s biggest cash cows. ... If they get Windows 8 right they will not be too late. ... But they still face an uphill battle.  

And Harry McCracken wonders if it's even possible:

Sinofsky will supposedly show Windows 8's tablet-related features ... at the Wall Street Journal's "D" conference next week. ... Any feelings of deja vu will be understandable: at the 2008 version of D, Steve Ballmer ... [demonstrated] the touch features of Windows 7.


[It] didn't turn out to be that big a deal ... the best touch-enabled systems on the market, HP's ... are good because HP has put a lot of effort into building its own touch interface. ... There were UMPCs. And Tablet PCs. And Windows for Pen Computing. ... All flopped.


[It's] like trying to add a steering wheel to a horse. Or something.  

However, Caris & Co.'s Sandeep Aggarwal sees the upside:

Ever since Apple ... products started getting traction investors have been worrying that Apple’s success will be Microsoft’s pain. ... To some extent this transpired in Microsoft’s results for the last two quarters when it missed ... expectations for its Windows segment.


[But] the company has made big strides over the past 6 months and may end-up launching tablet soon. ... Computing devices including tablets have higher switching costs in favor of Microsoft (familiarity of Windows) ... Microsoft can prevail even if it is a late entrant.  

And Finally...
Volcanic ash and cloud computing
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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