Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Zune Tablet

Since the introduction of tablet computers with the iPad this spring, development has been fast and furious.  Software options (APPS) have grown enormously.   There is starting to be a distinct category of iPad apps and at the same time many of the iPhone Apps have been expanded or improved to use the larger screen and other features of the iPad.   There have been a number of alternatives to the iPad based on the Android operating system. There has been some experimentation with a 7" format - which is about the size of a Kindle. So there was some anticipation that Microsoft might get its game back with a new tablet that would be previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show. (CES)

The Financial Times coverage of the newly released Microsoft tablet seemed to mirror most responses - they found the new device wanting.   The FT had a couple of harsh comments.  First, Windows 7 is simply not designed for the environment of tablet computing which does not anticipate a keyboard for most tasks.   The decision to port a desktop system to a tablet was widely criticized.   The Android and iPad devices start with a mobile device platform.

Most of the coverage of the new device was negative.  Computerworld quotes Directions on Microsoft Analyst Michael Cherry as saying "by choosing to port a desktop OS to a tablet in the first place and also to preview something at CES (Windows 8 on ARM chips) that won't be available for at least a year and a half."

Then there is the pricing.  The new device will cost $999.  That is about twice the cost of many of the Android tablets and even the lowest priced iPad.

With a clumsy operating system and higher price what is not to love?

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