It was not expected that Apple would launch the iPad, so early. This launch has quickly left a great impact on the industry. Apple crossed the bar of selling 3 million slates this year. This has given Apple a big market share and a really huge success. It has shaken a new ecosystem for softwares that would run on a newly emerged type of device called “slates”.
Microsoft Goes Sloppy
It was in May 2010, that Microsoft has folded its Mac Business Unit in Microsoft Office group. This was part of the restructuring that was the result of the high level changes that happened in the company when President Robbie Bach and Chief Experience Officer J Allard departed.
The question is where Microsoft was when all this fantasy for iPad was high up in the air. Most probably it was working with a defensive strategy. There have been a few but big set backs for the company. Their biggest partnership that was with HP to produce Windows 7 based slates seems to drown. HP has put a hold on producing these devices and is favoring to buy Palm and is planning to follow the WebOS track for the consumer based tablets.
Still there are a lot of hopes that HP will produce its slates based on Windows 7 and Microsoft’s partnership would remain intact. But still its difficult to claim any success of these slates in the market place although one can easily perceive the high level of functionalities with a full fledge PC operating system scaled for the slates.
More Setbacks for Microsoft
Another set back for Microsoft has come from with in. It has cancelled its most fantastic tablet project named as the Courier. It is now focusing to work on its mobile strategy for slates. Microsoft is going way to vague. It is simultaneously working on two technologies that have a great conflict. First is refining Windows 7 to work on slates based on the Intel Atom processor and the second is to refresh the technology of the older Windows CE and introduce Windows Compact Embedded 7.
Such decisions of Microsoft are hurting it at the highest level. This is directly conflicting with Windows Phone 7 OS which from its name proves to be an OS designed for slates. Microsoft is not encouraging its partner organizations to use the new phone based OS for their slates. This has resulted in the cancelation of Asus’ partnerships with Microsoft to produce a Windows Compact Embedded 7 based tablets and now have opted for Google Android to power their machines.
The only thing that can save Microsoft is go in the home of Apple and beat it right there. Microsoft should bring back its Mac Business Unit team and start making apps for iOS. Yes! They should port their Office to iOS so that users don’t have to go through 3rd party apps to view their Office files. It can give a full fledged Bing app for iOS that uses Microsoft web properties for the slate. It should also optimize hotmail for its mobile platforms like Safari. And other great set back can be developing an Internet Explorer for iOS. And believe me it is going give a big tough time to Apple.