Sunday, October 21, 2012

Will Microsoft Gain Traction In The Tablet And Mobile Market?

Microsoft first came up with tablet and slate-style computers.

Yet it lost any ground in that category to Apple when the iPad revolutionised that whole segment and made tablet computing popular.

The medical fraternity were the only ones who really did anything with Microsoft’s version of a tablet, dooming it to being only a niche product. It did not gain ground in any major way or gain traction as a popular product.

So here we are in late 2012 seeing Microsoft attempt to make progress in the tablet space again, against Apple’s iPad which almost owns the segment and against various Android tablets which help Google maintain its search and ad business now that things are shifting more to mobile.

Even Google knows what it’s doing in the mobile space and in tablets, having a good hit with the Nexus 7 Android tablet. Priced competitively it provides Google with what it really needs, access to where its advertising can now do the most good.

Apple have made iPad use so intuitive that even your grandmother and five-year-old can operate one within a minute or two.

So does Microsoft really have a hope with its new line of tablet computers?

We’re talking about the same Microsoft that dropped mobile phone leadership and which didn’t adapt too quickly to the iPhone and even the earliest Android phones.

Windows Mobile at one time only had to worry about Palm which itself took a while to adapt, even though having some great hardware in the Palm Treo and Centro lines (hardware good enough that Windows even had its own version on the same hardware). When Palm had to start working on a more modern system like WebOS, Windows should have risen.

Instead it sank.

And now only barely is above another set of phones that took ages to adapt to new realities, Blackberry.

Microsoft still has its success stories and XBox 360 is a definite hit…but it is amazing that the once-behemoth company has seen Apple, Google and even Amazon erode whatever leads it once had.

And I think the less said about Zune the better. The Zune flopped badly against iPods.

And Bing?

Not exactly a Google is it? Which is why most people are usually found using Google.

There was a time when Microsoft dominated, but that was also the time when it had more to leverage. It was a time when certain business advantages and agreements made it incredibly difficult for competitors to really get a hand hold. That, of course, was a time in the past.

There are three companies equal to Microsoft, if not one or two surpassing it. This time round it is more equal terms. Now we see what Microsoft is really made of.

It must at least manage to hit the ground running with Windows 8 and RT and the Surface tablet, let alone the OEM or Intel tablets. If it doesn’t, it’s a very unforgiving market these days.

Just ask Palm and then HP. Just ask RIM.

Do you think this time Microsoft can score? Comments welcome on this question.

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