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Non-Existent Microsoft Tablet Already Drawing Criticism

Sometimes, it just stinks to be Microsoft. Oh, sure, there are the billions in revenues, the embarrassingly dominant market share in huge sectors like operating systems and the picturesque surroundings of Greater Seattle around the company's headquarters.

Still, though, it's not easy being...whatever color Microsoft is. Maybe electric blue like its executives' dress shirts, as opposed to that navy IBM blue. But we digress. This week, rumors leaked that Microsoft will be introducing a tablet computer, a competitor to the iPad, at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Now, these are rumors. Microsoft has confirmed nothing. Only The New York Times is talking about this device in definite terms, and even its details are sketchy. Officially, this tablet doesn't exist. Nevertheless, everybody hates it.

Well, maybe not everybody -- but some critics already do, based on sketchy details and what might or might not be an image of the device (made, in this case, by Samsung). Now, we're not saying that the Windows tablet is going to set the world on fire. It might be awful. It might be mediocre. It might be brilliant.

What it won't be, though, is the iPad, and it seems as though that's what critics want it to be. But Microsoft doesn't need to try to reinvent the iPad. In fact, that would be an embarrassment and a market disaster (hello, Zune). No, there are things Microsoft can do with tablet computers that could actually bring value to the space.

If this device really does have a slip-out keyboard, we already like it better than the iPad. If it's cheaper than the Apple device, we like it even more. And does the iPad run Flash yet? Maybe it does by now (we can't remember...), but if we remember correctly it didn't for a while. Compatibility shouldn't be a problem with a Windows tablet. We say shouldn't remembering cautiously the Vista debacle, but surely Microsoft has learned its lesson.

So, could we all hold off on trashing Microsoft for a product it hasn't even released yet? The anti-Microsoft cabal in the pundisphere simply cannot wait to jump on Redmond at every opportunity. Here at RCPU, we're going to make sure that the Microsoft tablet is lousy before we start mocking it relentlessly.

Do you have any early impressions of the leaked Microsoft tablet? Send them to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 12/15/2010 at 1:23 PM


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Reader Comments:

Sun, Dec 19, 2010 Kevin Gaza Indianapolis

MY LEGO TABLET DESIGN - Design it like a Lego where you can add whatever hardware component you want--just like what I do with software addon; e.g. third party optional "addons" could be: (1)Keyboard,(2)Batteries,(3)Swivel camera(3)unbreakable screen,(4)Memory,(5)couple more USB port,...

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 Den Kansas City, MO

I agree that it's really premature to attack a Microsoft tablet, which may or may not be introduced at CES. From what I've seen so far, there is a very small set of features that are considered desirable in the tablet space. The iPad is missing cameras (front- and rear-facing), removable storage, and a multiplicity of ports. Beyond that, it's typical of what's being offered now. I'm not sure if Microsoft can do any better than anyone else, but at least let's wait until we actually have a device in someone's hands before we start criticizing it.

Will these sentiments make any difference in people's reaction to the (possible) MSFT tablet? Of course not. But I'm not going to go thumbs-up or -down until I actually see something physical. There are just too many other things that are more important at the moment...

Wed, Dec 15, 2010

YES - let's all please do hold off on the less than useful hate comments, or the very subjective/unhelpful (at least to me) post of: 'blabla=FAIL!'. There are almost 90K people employed globally by Microsoft and most of them probably work pretty hard. In this economy we should be thankful that they are able to continue to employ those numbers.

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