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Will Microsoft Release Its Own Windows 8 Tablet? 207

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft isn't exactly known for its hardware prowess. Sure, it's churned out plenty of nice mice, keyboards, and game controllers over the years, but success with actual devices has been mixed. The Xbox 360 has exceeded all expectations, while the Zune and Kin hardware have been monumental failures. According to industry sources in Taiwan, however, Microsoft is working on a Windows 8 tablet that will be powered by Texas Instrument's next-generation 1.8GHz dual core processor."
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Will Microsoft Release Its Own Windows 8 Tablet?

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  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @01:30PM (#36377176)

    The 360 has exceeded all expectations?
    Except the whole paying for the debt the Xbox left them with.

    • And overheating problems on the earlier models.

      • Yeah I don't consider an estimated return rate of 30% and a $1B write-off just to correct hardware problems as a shining example of hardware prowess.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      I wouldn't even go that far. I'm sure MS thought they could take over the console market completely. So far, they haven't managed that, though they have got an impressive standing.

    • Look man, if you've got a console that has people coming back three and four times to buy a new one when it keeps conking out, you'd better be making money on it.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Ah. The old "they lose money on each sale but make up for it with volume" gambit.

  • Intel should be even more worried than they are already [].

  • Yes. (Score:2, Troll)

    by wcrowe ( 94389 )

    And it will be a gargantuan flop.

  • Other than a clock-based firmware glitch that didn't affect me, I have no memory of anything rising to Red Ring of Death on my Zune.

    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      Zune was more a marketing flop. All of those music/video player things are fungible, from a utility standpoint. I've had them all, and the one I still use is a little 2GB Sandisk Sansa Clip, when I'm not just using my phone.

    • you have a zune?

  • Microsoft isn't likely to start building a Microsoft-branded tablet ... why should it? It has a system in place for that. It drafts hardware the specs and OEMs build the devices. The partnership with Nokia is the closest it will come (or needs to come) to building its own tablet. But it still has the clout to coerce Dell, Acer, HP and others into building tablets, too. There's already grumbling in the OEM community that the early specs for Windows 8 are too restrictive ... not leaving room for each vendor t
  • I could have sworn they said they're leaving the iPad and its market alone. Shit changes quickly around here.
    • Ballmer has publicly lumped tablets as PCs so that they can claim they have the biggest marketshare and diminish that Apple has succeeded in a market where MS has failed for the better of the decade. Also at the same time they have been saying since D8 last summer that Windows tablets would overtake the iPad calling them "fads"
  • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @01:56PM (#36377624) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft has a long history of letting its hardware partners take all of the risks. That's a fine strategy if you want to sell a bog standard PC. It is a much less workable strategy if you want to make some sort of unique device. In the past, however, Microsoft has been the only game in town when it came to workable off-the-shelf OS software, especially if you wanted to play well with Windows.

    So the OEMs took Microsoft's software and did all of the actual engineering to make it actually work. If the device was a flop they were left holding the bag with the unusable hardware and the bill for the engineering effort. If the device was a success, then it was a given that Microsoft was going to shop your ideas around to your competitors. After all, most of the software that made your device work belonged to Microsoft. Microsoft got paid per device sold, and so they were happy to encourage cut throat competition on the hardware side. This guaranteed that there was a disincentive to actually innovate as companies like Dell, that made their money by cloning other people's ideas and squeezing the supply chain until it bled, dominated. Why innovate if Dell and Microsoft are going to make all of the money borrowing your ideas? Every once in a while someone would come up with a new device based entirely on their own software (Palm, Rim, etc.), but they invariably faced lots of pressure and competition from Microsoft and its OEMs.

    The combination of Apple's design prowess and the emergence of Google's android have broken this cycle. Apple has the design genius to create entirely new devices that people want, and the existence of Android means that Apple's competitors have a ready-made OS that doesn't require that they work with Microsoft. Now Microsoft realizes that it needs to get into these new markets, but none of its traditional allies are willing to risk working with Microsoft's software. Heck, HP even has its own software for these devices. Nokia is allied with Microsoft now, and in fact, it has bet the business on Microsoft's software, but they are too busy trying to make a Windows phone to be relied on for a tablet.

    So Microsoft gets to take its own risks now. It should be interesting. Microsoft learned a lot from the XBox. It is even possible that they won't lose billions of dollars this time.

  • The *only* good thing about MS is that they provided a stable platform where they managed to make it tasty for hw companies to produce for and stable enough to keep developers. whenever MS tried to do more than an occasional mouse or keyboard it sucked.

    Dear MS, just try to get your os stable and clean, and provide in a form that it can be easily adapted to different platforms (e.g. partial open source). The others will do the rest (see: Android).

  • Seems like Nokia should supply the hardware. Poor Elop, betrayed by his ex coworkers.

  • Has it already become so obvious to the OEMs that WinTab 8 will be such an mind-boggling disaster that the only way MS can get it out to the marketplace is to make the hardware themselves? At which point aren't the traditional hardware OEMs going to start having second thoughts about supporting Microsoft on their other product lines?

    Nokia's already feeling the burn from having joined themselves to the hip with Redmond, seeing their market freeze while consumers wait for whatever hybrid spawn the two produce, or just running to the other mobile platforms (Android/RIM/IOS). I'd have to think tablet makers debating whether to work with Windows are having their minds made up for them.


    • "Has it already become so obvious to the OEMs that WinTab 8 will be such an mind-boggling disaster that the only way MS can get it out to the marketplace is to make the hardware themselves?"

      MS: Hey, we are comming with Win8, it will run on tablets.

      OEMs: Ok, call us when you have something.

      MS: Hey, you'd better pay attention, or Windows may become more expensive for you.

      OEMs: Ok, we are paying attention. Do you have something to show?

      MS: Yes, your hardware must meet that spec...

      OEMs: That's insane, it

  • Last time they had a good concept for an in-house developed tablet (Courier) they axed the project just when a lot of people had started to look forward to it and were actively interested in buying one.

  • The Kin was made by Danger. The Zune failed for reasons unrelated to hardware design and build quality. They should go for it. Make something nice and do it right. Give device makers someone to copy that isn't Apple for once (even if your tablet is a copy of the iPad, at least 3rd party makers will get some idea of what to change about the iPad design and what to leave alone).

  • For the past few years, at work, I am forced to use MS-office, MS-vista ....

    I know they were first to make piss-poor software for the masses.

    The masses do irrationally love their, malevolent or benevolent, gods on earth and in their mind.

    "Reality is self-induce hallucination."

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington