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Microsoft Mulling Smaller Windows 8 Tablets 145

Posted by timothy
from the cut-an-eight-get-two-zeros dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft might want a piece of the mini-tablet market. The company has lowered the minimum screen resolution for Windows 8 tablets, from 1,366 x 768 pixels to 1024 x 768 pixels. "This doesn't imply that we're encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution," it wrote in an accompanying newsletter. "We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful." As pointed out by ZDNet's Ed Bott—cited by other publications as the journalist who first noticed the altered guidelines—that lowered resolution "would allow manufacturers to introduce devices that are in line with the resolutions of the iPad Mini (1024 x 768) and the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 (both 1280 x 800)." Whatever the contours of the smaller-tablet market, it's certainly popular enough to tantalize any potential competitor. But if Microsoft plunges in, it will face the same challenges that confronted it in the larger-tablet arena: lots of solid competitors, and not a whole lot of time to make a winning impression. There are also not-inconsiderable hardware challenges to overcome, including processor selection and engineering for optimal battery life."
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Microsoft Mulling Smaller Windows 8 Tablets

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  • there's very little excuse not to have tablets running at 1200 x 800.
  • Paper (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:17PM (#43313671)
    The aspect ratio of 4:3 is quite close to A-type paper sizes, so it's nice for PDFs.
    • This is about putting windows on cheaper hardware, as windows is failing to sell at the high end. So if you are expecting a plethora of screen sizes and dimensions...its unlikely, as thinks with those dimensions are not cheap components. It will end up a failure like the ipad mini [expensive due to microsoft tax, and with low resolution screens, last years cpu]...with less popularity.

      I suspect most people will benefit from a more video friendly/properly formatted ebook/Game friendly screen, not forgetting t

    • Re:Paper (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:45PM (#43314415)

      The aspect ratio of 4:3 is quite close to A-type paper sizes, so it's nice for PDFs.

      Yes, and it's closer to US letter-sized paper than 16:10 is. I've also long thought that a 4:3 screen is better for using the tablet as a laptop replacement with a bluetooth keyboard. At 16:10 the screen is too wide in landscape and too narrow in portrait. 4:3 is much better for this (though of course generally worse for watching video).

      So I really want a 4:3 tablet, but I don't want to buy an iPad. The list of 4:3 Android tablets is short and undistinguished [xda-developers.com], owing (I presume) to Android being aimed at the 16:10 form factor. I don't especially want to buy a Windows 8 tablet, but a Windows tablet is likely to be more flexible than an iPad, and eventually there will be one with a better build quality and a better screen than most or all of the Android tablets in the link above.

      So good for Microsoft and whatever hardware vendors winkled this out of them. I'd rather have a really nice 4:3 Android tablet, but that doesn't exist right now. "OK" might not be as good as "good", but it's better than "meh".

  • Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Farmer Pete (1350093)
    Finally, I can get a smaller Microsoft tablet. I did think that Microsoft's tablet idea was complete garbage, and I had no intention of buying one ever. Now that they might have a smaller one, I have done a complete flip flop. I think these new smaller tablets could be the best thing ever! I mean, the fact that they still have the application ecosystem problems and that Windows really is a crappy tablet OS no matter what size may still be true. But if I could just get it a little smaller, I'd be SOOO h
    • by pspahn (1175617)

      I own a Galaxy Player 5", and it's getting to the point where I'd love to update and get something newer. Unfortunately, nobody sees the market for a phone sized device that isn't actually a phone.

      I don't have a cell phone... don't really want one. I'd much rather just have my mini-tablet that I can connect to my wifi-hotspot pretty much anywhere in most cities.

      • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Farmer Pete (1350093) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:46PM (#43313925)
        I don't know how much you want to spend, but the obvious choice would be going with a Nexus 4. It is a phone, but at $300-$350, it's pretty cheap. Also, you can pop in a pay as you go, talk only SIM card and get real cheap service. Then you can just use the WiFi for data. So you can use it for your phone, but do so without paying the large fees that VZ, ATT, and Sprint charge.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Also, you can pop in a pay as you go, talk only SIM card and get real cheap service.

          Are you sure the carrier won't detect your device's IMEI as a "smartphone" and slam you onto a smartphone plan? Some U.S. GSM carriers have been reported to do that.

          • Are you sure the carrier won't detect your device's IMEI as a "smartphone" and slam you onto a smartphone plan? Some U.S. GSM carriers have been reported to do that.

            The standard USA Postpaid carriers do that. That's why you go with a prepaid plan. Apart from saving you a bundle of money, prepaid plans have a lot more flexibility in price structure. If you want to use a smartphone for just talking and texting, you don't need to pay for a costly data plan.

            • by tepples (727027)

              That's why you go with a prepaid plan.

              Don't most of the prepaid carriers piggyback on Sprint, a CDMA2000 carrier? U.S. CDMA2000 handsets tend not to use removable CSIM cards, and the prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile USA (a division of Sprint) won't activate a voice-only plan on a phone capable of data.

              If you want to use a smartphone for just talking and texting, you don't need to pay for a costly data plan.

              So which U.S. prepaid carriers do you recommend for fewer than 30 minutes a month and no data?

        • by Jiro (131519)

          A Nexus 4 doesn't have an SD card slot. What phone would you recommend that is pretty good for non-phone purposes, falls in a similar price range or lower, and allows an SD card?

        • by vivek7006 (585218)
          That is exactly what I have been doing for over 6 months. Nexus 4 + pay as you go from tmobile + WiFi
      • Re:Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:49PM (#43313953)

        Because the market for this is vanishingly small, in fact its almost 0. Almost everyone has a phone. So why would they want a device that runs the same software and has the same capabilities, but doesn't have cellular data, sms, or voice? The only reason to make them is to cater to the market of people who

        1)don't want a cell phone
        2)want a pocket sized computer
        3)don't want a data plan
        4)are too cheap to just buy an unlocked phone without data, which includes the idea of just buying a used phone and not buying a data plan
        5)yet are willing to pay enough to buy a device that will have higher up front costs, due to lack of a subisdized model

        I'd be shocked if the total market for the product was in the millions in the industrial world. Your niche isn't worth the cost of marketing to, just suck it up and buy an unlocked phone without a data plan.

        • 4) are too cheap to just buy an unlocked phone without data, which includes the idea of just buying a used phone and not buying a data plan

          Or 4a) live in an area where carriers won't activate a non-data plan on a phone capable of a data plan

          I'd be shocked if the total market for the product was in the millions in the industrial world.

          Be shocked ten times over. Apple has sold tens of millions of iPod touch units. What's so great about iOS that makes it so much better than any other operating system for this use case?

          • by AuMatar (183847)

            iPods are music players. People are used to buying them, and not used to just using their phones. Its carry over sales. And their numbers are decreasing by double digit numbers year over year. A new player could try to position themselves as a music player, but their chances of success are slim without the years of name recognition and itunes platform. Plus its a decreasing market. Nobody with sane business sense would try.

            As for #4- you said you didn't want a cell phone. You wanted a wifi only devi

            • As for #4- you said you didn't want a cell phone. You wanted a wifi only device.

              Maybe I wasn't clear. Currently I carry an Audiovox 8610 dumbphone and an Archos 43 (4" Android 2.2 tablet), and I pay $7 per month to Virgin Mobile USA for "payLo" service on the phone because I don't use a lot of minutes. Any call much longer than "pick me up at the bus stop" can wait until I come home to the land line. If I were to consolidate these into one device, I'd have to upgrade to "Beyond Talk" service, which starts at $35 per month.

              • What I've learned from reading other comments on /. cellphone stories is this: All you do is pay for a month or two of service to Virgin Mobile, then call them to say that you are thinking of switching to another company for a better deal (with carrier X). The VM rep will offer you the same plan (300 minutes/ Unlimited Talk/ Text) for $25. (I'm ''grandfathered'' in at the $25 rate, been with VM for years)
                • by mattack2 (1165421)

                  He's paying $7/month (which is too much -- you can easily get prepaid phones down well under $5/month), and you're telling him to "downgrade" to $25/month!!!

                  • Never mind, I must've misunderstood, been a long couple of days for me, mod me into.oblivion, hittin' the sack.
        • So why would they want a device that runs the same software and has the same capabilities, but doesn't have cellular data, sms, or voice?

          Apple sold about 4 million iPod Touches [zdnet.com] in Q1 2013. As it turns out, there's a pretty decent market for exactly the device you're describing.

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          Because the market for this is vanishingly small, in fact its almost 0. Almost everyone has a phone. So why would they want a device that runs the same software and has the same capabilities, but doesn't have cellular data, sms, or voice?

          Gee, the iPod touch has a 0 size market. Thanks for the update!

      • by fuzznutz (789413)
        Get an iPod touch. That's how I used mine until I finally went with a smartphone. My son uses his iPod Touch 4g that way and it's pretty nice.
    • Re:Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:44PM (#43313909) Journal
      A $200 Win 8 RT tablet could be compelling, and I hate M$.
    • I think if microsoft wants to hit this market segment, they should scale up WP8 rather than try to scale down W8. The hardware requirements for W8 are just stupid for anything other than what we classically consider a PC.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > I mean, the fact that they still have the application ecosystem problems and that Windows really is a crappy tablet OS no matter what size may still be true

      Daughter had a Windows 7 tablet that was essentially shelfware. (Windows 7 tablet support is pants.) I installed Windows 8 pro a couple weeks ago to see if we could breathe new life into it. No such luck. I mean, the tiles fly about and everything, but it's so painful to do anything except the simplest of media consumption, that we end up putti

      • by icebike (68054)

        Yup, I had a Windows 7 tablet too.
        HP Slate something something, running an Atom processor. Pretty useless, slow, but I needed it for testing in my day job.

        Just got Windows 8 Pro running Core i5 64bit. (Again, needed for my day job).
        Whole different story. I will finally be able to leave my monster laptop at home when I travel.

        This is a very nice machine, and Windows 8 makes more sense on this device than on any laptop.

        Too expensive mind you, but fully capable, and FAST.

        It even runs VmWare Player (very we

    • LMAO - flamebait. You win some, you lose some. If I had mod points, I'd probably slap you with a "funny". ;^)

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:26PM (#43313747)

    Obviously the reason behind poor Metro adoption is the screen resolution and overall dimensions of the tablet. How could those Microsoft engineers have missed that one?

    • I know right? I'm already saving my monies so I can have enough to buy the smaller tablets when they are released. I was going to hack a Kindle Fire to load Windows 8 RT on it, but then I got bored so I stopped.
    • Cost?

      The IPAD is the B&W of tablets and sets the standards. Problem is at $700 for a toy most Americans are struggling to pay their bills and break even every month so this is not an option. Android is taking over the cheaper more cost effective tablets.

      It was not hte lack of a start button, but rather a tablet that was more expensive at $1200 for the full version with a SSD not 90% full on arrival with no GPS or even G3/G4 data. I mean come on! So it is essentially useless for the traveler at the airpo

      • by fwarren (579763)

        50k apps, but that is only if you count apps in other languages. Apps in english are around 35k and this is after MS promised 100k apps by Feb 1.

        Not exactly a roaring success

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Funny thing though, because this isn't really lowering the resolution so much as it's changing aspect ratios. Metro looks like it'd fit 4:3 better. It really looks like crap on a widescreen (16:10 or 16:9), with half the boxes getting cut off by the screen to the right.

      It felt like the hardware department wasn't really talking to the software department. Or the Metro guys had 4:3 in mind, while everybody else was going with widescreen.

      This is obviously the least of Microsoft's failures with Metro. But there

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        Apple's been sticking with 4:3 for their iPad, but that wouldn't have the industry-wide impact Microsoft's suggestions hopefully would.

        Because the entire pad indiustry is at Microsoft's beck and call?

      • by icebike (68054)

        This is obviously the least of Microsoft's failures with Metro.

        If you think Metro is a failure because of screen ratio you are nuts. It has nothing to do with ratio.

        Its a failure because people don't like scrolling halfway around the world looking for monster Icons just to launch applications
        that they used to be able to launch quickly from a small desktop icon or a start bar. Its a failure because only a few apps work
        perfectly with Metro, and the rest still launch a desktop (sans a proper Start Menu).

        Metro ONLY works on small devices. Hang it on a 24 inch screen and

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Obviously the reason behind poor Metro adoption is the screen resolution and overall dimensions of the tablet. How could those Microsoft engineers have missed that one?

      It's a secret plan. This coming fall they are going to drop resolution to 640 by 480, and usher in a glorious new age of tablet computing with them, Microsoft, at the helm.

      • by chrish (4714)

        I'm going to hold out for an 80x25 character amber VT-220 compatible tablet.

    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:15PM (#43314183)

      Microsoft is going all in on the idea that the desktop is going the way of the dodo and that by 2015 EVERYTHING will have a touch screen. I've long made the argument that if touch really was the future of everything Apple would have had touch screen Macbooks and iMacs a long time ago.

      I went to a developers event last fall for work. I understand that MS is wanting to unify all of it's UI's across it's various platforms. Whether it's a good/bad UI is subjective, but it was clear that was the goal. The other developers at the event joked in the elevator about the problems of touchscreens with desktops. And I will say some of their decisions when you listen to why the did what they did do make sense, but the problem is are those changes worth the cost? Especially to businesses where change, any change, adds up quickly in soft costs. Maybe if they had introduced Metro on the tablets and phones with a classic "windows start bar" desktop + "metro mode" when you click a button or key (what apple is doing in OSX with launchpad like or hate it) to get people used to the idea and changes to the interface before converting over in Windows 9 it would have gotten a better response. Instead they are trying to change how people have worked with computers in the office since 1995.

      The truth is the desktop isn't going anywhere in the enterprise. The whole appification trend we've been seeing works for consumption of content. It doesn't work for content creation. Since most of my days are spend reading emails, texts, phone calls, looking at documents others create, and meetings, generally I leave the laptop on my desk and bring my iPhone & iPad. Same goes for a lot of our sales team. Most are carrying some kind of tablet/smart phone and find that's all they need and it's a lot lighter. But they are mostly consuming and in a pinch if you need to make a quick change to a document or write a brief email response tablets work great. Last year I tried to replace my laptop and got the keyboard case and the docking station for the iPad, but the apps just weren't there yet. Try creating anything more than a basic spreadsheet or report in Pages on an iPad. But I found if I'm going to have to compose a long email, document, or spreadsheet that I want a keyboard, mouse, and big monitor. Basically what I have sitting in front of me. And a lot of workers need because it makes their job easier.

      Currently I have a 15" macbook pro on my desk with a 26" Acer monitor beside it and external keyboard and mouse. Then I at least have the option of working from other locations when I need to and I do travel places for days at a time. But the people who work in the office day in and out, they all have iMacs or Mac Mini's depending on what they're doing. Again, they are usually creating content, editing graphics & video and they want the large screens. They don't care about taking their work home at the end of the day either. Our graphics people aren't going to be editing photos of models on an iPad anytime soon.

      • by 2015 EVERYTHING will have a touch screen.

        I love touchscreen, and most people are very happy with using a touch screen. I would *love* a 27" touch screen monitor, hell little Android windows running all over it. It would be great...just most of us are against sacrificing the current wimp experience + keyboard and mouse, for whole touched experience [including hardware that doesn't support it] , but Microsoft have done it for a mobile market grab.

        As for using Apple as a barometer for the future of technology. I think you need to look elsewhere, its

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          Go blather elsewhere. No one I've ever met has been happy with using a touchscreen for over 2 minutes. Have fun flailing your arms around like Tom Cruise in Minority Report while everyone laughs at you.

  • Windows on low end computers suck. Windows 8 would have the same market share as Windows Phone (nearly zero) if it wasn't for their Windows and MS Office monopoly. The currently available products of Microsoft I have respect for are Windows 7, Visual Studio, and MS Office. Windows 8 is horrible. Windows Phone is halfway decent. It would have been competitive in 2008.

    Microsoft is going to ruin its brand even further by allowing Windows to run on crapboxes.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Windows on low end computers suck. Windows 8 would have the same market share as Windows Phone (nearly zero) if it wasn't for their Windows and MS Office monopoly. The currently available products of Microsoft I have respect for are Windows 7, Visual Studio, and MS Office. Windows 8 is horrible. Windows Phone is halfway decent. It would have been competitive in 2008.

      Microsoft is going to ruin its brand even further by allowing Windows to run on crapboxes.

      Um, I own a couple of those "crapboxes" and that term is dead right if one describes "crapbox" as a low end computer running Windows. Running something else, different story.

    • by DogDude (805747)
      Windows on low end computers suck.

      That's funny. I have lots and lots of boxes that run Windows XP just fine, but Ubuntu doesn't even install on. What do you put on low end computers? DOS?
      • That's funny. I have lots and lots of boxes that run Windows XP just fine, but Ubuntu doesn't even install on. What do you put on low end computers? DOS?

        Not funny at all. In 2007 pre Vista, a well configured bit-rot free Microsoft XP could run like a dream on contemporary hardware, and required less memory [that a heavyweight Desktop like Gnome], and greater hardware support [it had been around for like forever]

        Its not 2007 anymore, the dominant OS is set to be Android this year, and on low end computer. I tend to put a Ubuntu on [I'm lazy] which word like a dream on anything. Its hardware support is better than anything.

  • by sjames (1099) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:34PM (#43313807) Homepage

    wife: I don't Like Windows8!

    Well how about a 1024x768 tablet.

    wife: That's got Windows 8 in it!

    Husband: Well it's not as much Windows 8 as a surface...

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday March 29, 2013 @03:57PM (#43314009) Journal

    ...of a tiny screen that holds, like, two tiles. It takes a lot of panic swiping to find an app...

    But seriously, Windows 8 Pro will already work on lower resolution screens (ala netbooks). It requires a registry change (set display1_downscalingsupported to "1", reboot, set screen resolution high enough to run metro apps). I think all this means is that a future patch will have this parameter enabled by default.

    • I think all this means is that a future patch will have this parameter enabled by default.

      Well, that's the *good* news. The *bad* news is that the patch to make this one parameter change is 12Gb.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:04PM (#43314083)

    This is about caving to suppliers who can't [won't and don't] sell current windows hardware, against the army of good value Android tablets out there.

    ...and this really is vista again, Windows is not a lightweight OS which which was awful on the machines at the time [shudder i915], Windows 7 fixed a lot of things...but the big difference is was the hardware is ready.

    Its going to be a bloodbath, Android failed to gain traction in the then iPad market [for two years no less], with its parity devices [expensive high end]...and dirt cheap unbranded [or weak branded] underspecced hardware, and Microsoft seem to want to go down the same path.

    Android has finally upsurped iOS post Nexus 7, by producing well specced good value tablets, consumers are buying them in droves...showing they are not stupid. Microsoft is going to fail selling cheap tablets against Androids.

    The big problem is as always Windows Tax [more noticeable on cheaper hardware], Which unfortunately is going make Windows tablets look overpriced right now. Microsoft need to rethink their business model, but right now they need to be less greedy.

    • by DogDude (805747)
      It's a moot point. The tablet fad will be over shortly, right after people get tired of trying to balance a tablet and use it at the same time, or right after those same people prop one up at an angle awkwardly on a desk, with an attached keyboard and mouse, and realize that they've got a grossly overpriced laptop with a fraction of the functionality. Silly consumers!
      • It's a moot point. The tablet fad will be over shortly

        I'm not sure your post-Tablet market prediction is close to same. The don't doubt that the PC is still very relevant. In fact I'm personally disgusted in the whole industry rather trying to tabletify the whole PC industry...rather than reinvent a better PC, and include touch-screen functionality where it is relevant.

        ...but a fad not a chance, they are maybe threatened by large screen phones, but PC's...different use cases, and tablet, I'd rather had a better netbook, but Microsoft destroyed that dream, for

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Thing is I run Windows 8 on my laptop and it is very fast. Boots from cold in under 10 seconds, everything is quick and smooth.

      A tablet like that with a physical keyboard is actually quite attractive. What ruins it is simply the cost of the hardware and the fact that the RT version is crippled.

      It's a cock up no doubt, but a very different one to Vista.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:09PM (#43314121) Journal

    Saw the Surface at a large store yesterday. It was on the corner of a display stand. It was the smallest display area, of to the side of the "real" tablet area. Nobody was around it. Just a lonely little tablet for 500 euro's.

    What Microsoft just never got because they are the bottom feeder is that people want something a bit special when they shell over cash. It is the reason why Starbuck can charge 2x as much for bad coffee as other stores AND have a longer line for it. Because when you go to Starbucks you don't buy coffee, you buy an experience. An experience of being served slightly better then at 99% of stores.

    Apple has this experience. Microsoft doesn't. By definition it doesn't. People get hard/wet opening an Apple box. Nobody has to change their pants after a MS unboxing. Well, maybe accountants.

    When you show off your device to others, you got have something to show off with. The first tablet, the high-rez tablet, the most cores, oled. SOMETHING. MS has NOTHING. Except a lame image and a high pricepoint. People didn't buy iPads because they were expensive bling, they paid a high price FOR the bling. It is a subtle different, it is the difference between a 1000 dollar mobile phone with specced out specs AND a 10.000 gold plated phone with mediocre specs.

    Basically the Surface is the Zune all over again. Not because the Zune was objectively that bad but because it launched 2 years late with specs that belonged to 4 year old hardware. Not bad... but not good... and then there is that MS logo... it makes the people that hear "dude you got a dell" go "dude you got a ms".

    There are just some companies that can't do sexy. Some companies go through the frontdoor of life and some companies are lucky to be allowed through the servant entrance, after dark.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DogDude (805747)
      Your whole description of people getting excited over a gadget is really creepy. It's bordering on unhealthy, as far as I'm concerned.
      • by steelfood (895457)

        Your whole description of people getting excited over a gadget is really creepy.

        Why? It's just narrative license.

        It is, isn't it?

    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      "What Microsoft just never got because they are the bottom feeder ..."

      Some of us use MS products because we need to get work done.

      ... and Starbucks is fine, especially in Europe, where the typical cup of coffee is smaller than a Starbucks short cup.

      That said, MS missed the mark. No question. Ballmer is a flaming idiot who won't give up until he succeeds at *something*, or destroys the company trying. He's doing a good job of the later.

    • "Apple has this experience. Microsoft doesn't. By definition it doesn't. People get hard/wet opening an Apple box. Nobody has to change their pants after a MS unboxing. Well, maybe accountants."

      No they don't. In fact Android and a whole host of Manufactures, which don't sell bullshit [Chinese hardware with insane mark-ups], but decent products at good value, its why they took the market so quickly away from Apple after pissing away for two years trying to be Apple [or the reverse sell garbage hardware].

      Seri

    • You mean rape in the bum experience because you're stupid enough to pay double for something you could get atr Tim Horton two doors over?

  • Too bad Microsoft didn't support the lower resolutions in the first place. An older HP laptop I had tested with a native 1280x800 screen never left 1024x768 when I first installed Win 8. It ran stable, but without proper video drivers it wasn't worth even the discount. I would have even tolerated Metro, replacing Win 7 starter on my netbook but its resolution of 1024x600 was also not supported.

    The HP did well with Gnome/Ubuntu instead.

    In my circle of friends, no one had purchased Windows 8 during the discou

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday March 29, 2013 @05:32PM (#43314731) Homepage

    Microsoft will not be able to pull it off.

    Already Microsoft's attempts at using ARM isn't working out. Microsoft depends too heavily on its Wintel x86. They are simply too afraid to put too much behind a whole new architecture. Apple did it and it's working for them. Google did it... did it better, actually, because they use something "similar" to Java and so whatever processor is used in whatever device, code for Android will work. But they, like Apple, started from nothing.

    Why can't or won't Microsoft do the same?

    Microsoft has historically depended on hardware to catch up with the software. This has been fine with PCs until recently. There just hasn't been significant improvements in PC power. In fact, like tablets and phones, mobile PCs need to use less power to remain attractive and viable. Microsoft knows how to use more power, but has problems using less. It doesn't know how to be small.

    So this is a huge failing for its embedded and its mobile devices market and certainly harms itself mobile computer market.

    Micrsoft has billions to throw away. Why it doesn't focus on building something new and awesome, I have no idea. It can keep doing the Wintel thing and also make cool, light-weight, low power things too. WHY DOESN"T it? I just can't figure it out. Microsoft phones are failing. The RT tablet? Isn't that already dead in favor of their Wintel tablet line? And isn't the Wintel line also a bit of a failure in that it can't support the battery life in a way which compares to Apple and Android devices?

    I just want to know why Microsoft, with it's enormous resources, can't just come out and compete with the rest of them?

    • Why can't or won't Microsoft do the same?

      Its kind or weird seeing the insanely priced x86 but impractical, but more useful netbooks posing as tablets, compared with its more reasonable price ARM and more practical tablet posing as a netbook, and unsurprisingly fail, but its the world Microsoft build. Microsoft has locked itself into a market it can't escape from. Its still selling on the windows branding an Office machine...with xbox branding (its damaged Windows Gaming brand beyond repair).

      Its delicious irony that Microsoft is losing relevance in

      • by erroneus (253617)

        After having just watched "John Dies at the End" your verbiage comes across really interestingly.

        Interesting movie. It messes with you sense and understanding of reality.

        But I guess Microsoft is like any religion. When you believe in god, you will believe in anything and especially that your god is all powerful. And, like Microsoft, when you believe you are God, you can't see the world changing around you. And you won't be able to see what you can't do.

        Android becoming dominant this year? What's domina

        • The days of people wanted matching technology at home to that at work are gone, and with it Microsofts big advantage has gone. The first reason is the consumer market is simply bigger...its why Apple got to be so much bigger than Microsoft in such a short time. Managers(now everyone) have been bringing their shiny ipads into work wanting then to be connected to the computing network to drive presentations rather than use the 586 running XP on their desk...the 17" screen not really selling it to them anymore

    • Already Microsoft's attempts at using ARM isn't working out. Microsoft depends too heavily on its Wintel x86. They are simply too afraid to put too much behind a whole new architecture. Apple did it and it's working for them. Google did it... did it better, actually, because they use something "similar" to Java and so whatever processor is used in whatever device, code for Android will work. But they, like Apple, started from nothing.

      Part of MS problem has always been legacy code. When Apple migrated from Mac OS to OS X, it was going to be a bit painful. And not everything worked fine in Carbon. But in doing so, Apple was able to trim the number of APIs from like 40,000 to 8,000. Also they moved to a platform that would work on PowerPC, x86, and ARM. MS has 30 years of legacy x86 code not built for any other platform. They didn't make the move and now they are stuck with massive bloat with each new release. Vista was supposed to

  • Lower resolution would disable Snap, a feature that allows Windows 8 users to view two apps next to one another.

    People only need to do one thing at a time. The iPad, with its silly single tasking interface, proves that.

    • People only need to do one thing at a time. The iPad, with its silly single tasking interface, proves that.

      (takes deep breath) Jobs said a lot of things, most if not all may to manipulate a market into believing that the shortcoming of of Apples products were design decisions, and the world had to bend to its will. Its why flash has been replaced without a real replacement, because it ran badly with an iphone, its why Apple were so late to market with a small tablet, its why your holding it wrong.

      Apple products didn't multi task...and do to so some extent now. Its a feature users want, and viewing too applicatio

      • People only need to do one thing at a time. The iPad, with its silly single tasking interface, proves that.

        (takes deep breath) Jobs said a lot of things, most if not all may to manipulate a market into believing that the shortcoming of of Apples products were design decisions, and the world had to bend to its will. Its why flash has been replaced without a real replacement, because it ran badly with an iphone, its why Apple were so late to market with a small tablet, its why your holding it wrong.

        Apple products didn't multi task...and do to so some extent now. Its a feature users want, and viewing too applications (although not exclusive to Microsoft; Samsung tablets do it too) its a great feature.

        You need to look at the current crop of Android tablets...they are so ahead of Apple its not funny.

        But those were really good design decisions. Before the iPad we had ipaQ and PDA's, large and expensive x86 tablet computers and netbooks that had a really poor design. I saw netbooks with dual 9" or 10" screens to try to get a premium price and overcome the obvious design failures of using a no full screen application in such a small device. Others with resistive screen and stylus, but by running a OS not tailored to the constraints of a small screen, they all sucked despite having good specs.

        The "

  • Stop making Windows 8 tablets of any size.

    I'll go with Android or even, God forbid, iOS before I'd ever consider Win8.
    • Stop making Windows 8 tablets of any size. I'll go with Android or even, God forbid, iOS before I'd ever consider Win8.

      Uncanny, but I had the same thought. Windows is done. We'll have to tolerate the fallout for a while yet, but its done.

  • The headline says, "Microsoft Mulling Smaller Windows 8 Tablets," but the truthful headline would be, "Many people are speculating that Microsoft is considering smaller Win 8 tablet." The headline as its written has no credibility, because nobody involved with the story has a clue what Microsoft's plans are.
  • Wait, so part of the reason so many Windows tablets have been this stupid 16:9 widescreen format is because Microsoft has been requiring them to be? And now they're finally allowing manufacturers to use the screen format that has proven to be a huge hit for Apple? 16:9 is good for watching movies, and damn little else. (Viewing two apps side by side on a little tablet? I don't think so.) 9:16 is worthless. Leave it to Microsoft to not only encourage this bad design choice, but to enforce it.

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.

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