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Dell Disses Droid

Since Dell can't get its paws on the iPad, it has two main tablet choices: go full bore with Android now or wait for Windows 8.

Michael Dell, a longtime Microsoft OEM (he was an OEM when he in college in Austin) plans to wait for Windows 8.

Dell recently came out with fists swinging, arguing that Droid is a huge disappointment. He reckons Windows 8 will fare much better, and plans a large and varied product line around the upcoming OS. But there is a rub... Windows 8, which I perused recently, ain't even in beta.

It actually worked pretty well and I only saw it hang once in hours of operation. That may be because it is far from feature complete.

Dell is taking a risk here. It may be two years before Windows 8 tablets arrive -- at least as full production units. That is a lot of time for Droid to make hay. And Droid is already number two in the market with about a quarter of overall sales. The bad news? Android market share is falling.

Maybe Dell has a bad taste in its mouth since its Dell Streak -- an Android-based oversized smartphone -- bombed worse than Charlie Sheen in Detroit.

Have you tried an Android tablet? Fire it up and send your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/14/2011 at 1:18 PM


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Reader Comments:

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 UnlockStreak PA

HOW SILLY! Dell never updated their Android phones on time and the version they released plain sucked. It was slow all the way. However, if you put a custom made ROM by DJ_Steve on your Streak 5 for example, you are suddenly presented with the fastest Android version possible and one hell of a great mega sized smartphone, namely, the DELL Streak 5! Besides that, Windows 7/8 is hard to unlock :-( And I put all my life into unlocking Android phones ( http://www.unlockstreak.com )

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 DK CA, USA

I recently had the opportunity to use/compare iPAD2 and an ASUS Transformer side by side for about 6 weeks. I preferred the ASUS transformer, kept it and handed the iPAD's out to other users. I think the main benefit of the Android for me was the ability to access the directory structure. I like that benefit and use it often. I also like the fact that I don't have to give my credit card information out to get the thing running. Yes, I know there are "work around's" to this and I have done that. But, by default, this is not what apple wants. I also prefer the layout of the home screen better. One of the major drawbacks to the Android for me is the inability to get it working with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software without rooting the device and loosing my warranty. Cisco functions with the iPAD VPN seamlessly while this is difficult at best with the Android devices. Almost a deal breaker except for all the other benefits of the Android. Again, I used both for a few weeks and the Android was my favorite. The ASUS Transformer with it's optional Keyboard/dock really adds to the functionality especially with the 16 hour battery life, micro SD slot, two full size USB ports and micro HDMI port. Windows 8 may be a contender if, and only if, Microsoft listens to consumers/users and makes the necessary adjustments to user interface and functionality.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 Steve Gurnee, IL

I LOVE the guy that tries to correct your terminology, and like the mook that he is, just gets it wrong! Lol! No actually Droid is not just a phone manufactured by Motorola. It is, however brand specific to Verizon. Only Verizon has a Droid line featuring Android phones from HTC, Samsung, AND Motorola. "Droid" is licensed from Lucasfilm. Verizon adds some custom wallpapers, sometimes a sound here or there, and will usually like a flashy Droid "Eye" start-up animation.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 jbelkin

If you're referring to "Droid" as in tablet sales? Then WIn 8 has a legitimate shot as ALL Android tablets hae a 3% tablet usage market share. Your "25%" number is a shipped number - Moto has admitted to shipping 700,000 units in 6 months - the Android sell through is probably 10% of tat number as evident by android tablet usage at 3% - ipad holds the remaining 97% share. So in 2 years, the ipad might drop to 95% given MS an opportunity ... clearly Android tablets are dead - if nothing else, Amazon put the final nail in that coffin - amazon has set the high price benchamrk at $199 so anyone who can get an android at that price has a shot to fight for that 3% of the market.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 FC VA

Windows 8 appears headed towards a run-on-all-platform operating system approach, i.e., phone, tablet, desktop, server. It will be interesting to see how this strategy works out for Microsoft on the long haul. The strategy may make sense by capitalizing on the tremendous Windows business market share where those business decision makers and of course IT support will be influential is steering purchase decisions towards Windows-based devices from a support, manageability and perhaps cost standpoint. However, we seem to be in an era of rapid change where products and software versions are released on frequent schedule (e.g., Apple devices, Mac OS X and iOS releases every 12 to 15 months, Android versions at least once a year), especially for phone and tablet devices. Up to this point, Microsoft has not released versions on any sort of regular or consistent basis (e.g., Windows 2000 in the winter of 2000, XP in the fall of 2001, Vista in the winter 2007, 7 in the summer of 2009). And, more often than not, a version upgrade requires new and more hardware resources although Windows 8 may break the mold in this regard by requiring less – at least from a memory standpoint. From a business environment perspective, Microsoft receives a steady revenue stream as many customers pay for Software Assurance where they will be entitled to new versions, enterprise versions, support, etc., so regular version releases have arguably not been necessary to deliver. Especially when frequent release of versions has not always been essential as IT support is hard-pressed to stay current anyway (e.g., look how many shops still run Windows XP). In looking long term, does Microsoft strive to release Windows versions on a more frequent basis (e.g., annual schedule) as others in the phone and tablet business are doing, i.e., does one have to wait several years or more for a Windows phone or tablet OS version upgrade whereas competitors may release desired capabilities/functionality on a more regular basis? With desktop stability and usability being so important in the business environment it is unlikely that business desktop operating system upgrades can occur on that frequent of a basis anyway. However, it appears that where mobile phone and tablet devices are concerned we’ve been accustomed to frequent upgradesg with capabilities? Anyway, it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out, especially when considering all the litigation occurring in the Android arena.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 FC VA

Have tried a number of Android-based tablets including the Motorola Xoom, Viewsonic gTablet, and Nook Color. Have found the Motorola Xoom, which is operating with Android Honeycomb 3.2, to be very functional, stable (i.e., no Force Close issues), and fast. Have used a variety of applications from the Android Market including office suite viewers, remote desktop apps, radio station streaming, video streaming from home server (via Vulkano player), and games. In addition, I have used a library site that relies heavily on Flash player for puzzles and interactive books which has worked flawlessly. I definitely prefer a Tablet that operates with a Honeycomb version and has access to the Android Market. The Viewsonic gTablet does neither and is disappointing because of this. The Nook Color has its own market where some applications which are free on the Android market are cost items on its market. I have experienced Flash player issues when accessing the library site which works well with the Motorola Xoom.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011

I have been a Microsoft guy for years. I have no interest iOS but when Android came along I liked everything about it. The Android phone just works flawlessly and the tablet is wonderful, even though it has no where near the market share that Apple has in the tablet market. Androids are cheaper than iOS but have the same features and functions. I'm sure the same will be true with anything Microsoft puts out. I have an Asus Transformer which is the perfect bridge of a tablet and a netbook in one device. It's the best of both worlds.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 MJ DC

Why bother? Learn from HP, don't make the same mistake. Windows, while popular on the desktop for it's start menu and taskbar, in the traditional form we are used to, is not ready for the casual consumer user. MS needs to start over with a better, more tablet suited interface. Even that is wishful thinking. Android has proven to be the best (not better) alternative to apple so far. Phone and tablet, how is Windows Mobile fairing?

Fri, Oct 14, 2011

I have a few mobile devices running Android and zero running a mobile version of Windows. Don't expect that to change just because Microsoft brings Windows 8 to a mobile platform. And Dell doesn't like Android, so what? Dell doesn't come to mind when I think of being at the forefront of technology.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 dianas aberdeenwa

i love these Redmond Report comments. They are so very Redmond, in the grungey casual uppitiness of it all. As in, God is on our side, as His plan for us to be the very best, so who cares, as in we prove nothing. Just dig our brains, or get lost, losers. The writing style is so me, in a Veronica, not Betty, world. miss all of you back home. But have plans to relocate to mouintainous mid Oregon to be near the Amish retired ones. There is no traffic, and i can still study your engineering skills needed, to move forward and growing more.. Who would hire a msn architect @ age 60? All things are possible with The Good, and not evil.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 dbmuse michigan

i'm sure the new ms tablet will be as successfull as zune :) and my next tablet will be the Amazon Kindle Fire. Which brings me to 5 android tablets, one ipad, two iphones, 1 android phone and No zune, no wp7 ... wp8??? would I have any power plugs left to keep it charged :)

Fri, Oct 14, 2011

Microsoft is out of the game with its "Windows Everywhere" religion. And all its product expensive and late. Android is very useful, fast evolving, internet focused. Development (mashups) are easy, fast, in-expensive (Java Eclipse). Apple phones are pretty, expensive - more than jewelry than the phone. I want tablet that performs, battery lasts.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011

Just a note on your terminology: Droid is a phone manufactured by Motorola; Android is an operating system that runs on tablets and phones.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011

Microsoft has been developing some really cool stuff these past several years, and it's unfortunate that their marketing lags so far behind. It's also unfortunate that the world seems to have gotten itself into an awful big hurry and has no patience to wait or work with what it already has. But that being said, the real problem seems to be personal pride in the device one chooses. Let's say someone buys an iPhone, how likely are they to later buy an Android or WP7? For many it would be like admitting that they made a mistake, when it reality it's simply a choice. But some people don't see things that way, and the problem is further compounded when their friends (who prob know less than they do) berate them for their choice then making them dig in their heels becoming even more defensive and subjective. What does this have to do with Win8 and Dell? Just that I hope Microsoft is able to release Win8 a little sooner than expected so that the market is not overly flooded before Win8 even makes its entry. Look at WP7,,, a great phone but the religious cult of iDevices won't even give it a look. Truly sad and lame.

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