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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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