Tablets

Microsoft may still win the tablet war

Find out why Patrick Gray believes that Microsoft may still win the tablet war, even if its early efforts are unsuccessful.

After spending time with Microsoft's Surface RT tablet, I was left with more questions than answers. The further I considered Microsoft's tablet strategy, the more I wondered if it were genius or madness driving its recent moves. Depending on what we see in the next few months, it just might be the former.

Leaving the home court

Surface was most perplexing in that Microsoft aced the hardware of the device -- an area most pundits, myself included, expected it to miss completely. The device was sleek and well-assembled, and it brought unique and noteworthy features to the table rather than simply trying to copy market leaders. If only the software were on par with the hardware, I'd gladly slip the Surface into my bag and leave the laptop at home for the majority of my work and personal travel.

The OS was particularly troubling, considering Microsoft essentially invented the tablet category a decade ago, only to let it languish until Apple ate its lunch and dominated the market in a matter of months. While all this is old news, and Windows RT remains what seems to be a compromised OS, there are some interesting things happening on the software front.

An Office for everyone

Microsoft began its life as an applications software company, achieving dominance in the desktop space through luck and tenacity. People often forget that Microsoft set out to build applications for a variety of platforms rather than create the one that would dominate desktop computing for a generation. While Microsoft has released its Office suite for some competing platforms, the most interesting missing links in the Office world are mobile versions of the software for iOS and Android. There have been enough rumors and rumblings about an iOS version of Office that the rumor has a measure of credibility.

Microsoft also seems a bit more pragmatic and less dogmatic than Apple, and it has released several applications for the iOS platform, from relatively innocuous photography applications to versions of its SkyDrive cloud-based file storage platform. SkyDrive is available for all major OSs, and Microsoft's cloud strategy points toward open platforms rather than a walled garden like Apple's iCloud. With a Microsoft-based cloud storage service already gaining traction on a variety of platforms, mobile versions of Office don't seem as much of a stretch as they might have been a few months ago.

Returning to its roots around application software might not be a bad strategy for Microsoft. Clearly, Surface has not lit the world afire in its first incarnation, so launching popular applications on a variety of platforms would keeps Microsoft relevant in the enterprise and personal space, no matter which tablet device an enterprise ends up selecting.

There's also the possibility of a halo effect should Microsoft deliver a quality mobile Office experience on a variety of platforms. The iPod music player and iPhone arguably sold more Mac computers than any ad campaign, and a suite of compelling software and services might make a case for a deeper Microsoft experience, especially in the enterprise.

The end of the platform

While the proclamations that the "desktop is dead" have not been as dire as predicted, many applications are shifting to the cloud- and browser-based interfaces. In mobile, especially, core application logic and data are cloud-based for most popular applications. Tablets and smartphones generally don't have the "baggage" of legacy applications that have saddled our desktop computing experience, so in many ways, mobile operating systems are more likely to fade toward irrelevancy beyond running cloud-based applications. If Microsoft can rekindle its multi-platform application heritage and combine it with a strong hardware competency, it might successfully win the longer tablet war, even if its early efforts sputter.

About

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. He has spent ...

143 comments
pcstart
pcstart

I'm waiting for the tablet that has a full OS. Microsoft is bringing it! On the micosft surface with win 8 pro, ill be able to do all the stuff I do with my pc in a tablet. I think that the real problem with current tablets & the IOS.

jim
jim

After reading this, I have no idea why Microsoft would win the tablet war?

petkovass
petkovass

It's too late for Microsoft to begin competition .

laseray
laseray

Microsofts's poor software on its own hardware is just another opportunity for people to make it better by running Linux on it. The irony that will arise should that happen given Microsoft's attempts with Win8 and UEFI to block the running of other OS on its hardware. Not a walled garden? Going to be an open platform? I think not.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I'm not sure that people will accept Microsoft as the only manufacturer of the the windows tablet. Yes Apple has somehow convinced people that putting all their eggs (hardware and software) in basket is a good idea but I'm not sure that the "Windows" crowd is the same animal. I'm not an Apple fan in any way. Nor am I a Microsoft fan. I'm a fan of having choice. I don't believe that combining hardware and software together into one vendor exclusively is good for the market.

InstructorJWN
InstructorJWN

"Microsoft may still win the tablet war?"..... no not so much. Microsoft became the modern version of :"IBM of the 1980's", too big to fail to huge to change. Vista release set the stage for future disaster. Windows 7 pumped half the water out, but Windows 8 has opened a new gaping hole in their marketing strategy. Tat combined with unclear direction to developers early on, nope, they are an also ran when they should be leading the industry. Microsoft is suffering now from same problem that faced IBM in the 1990's. Too many irons in the fire, unclear future, slipped release dates. R&D is great, problem Microsoft is coming to the market with a product that is functionally obsolete. you only get so many "do overs".....IMHO Microsoft is on their last one.

hkeeter
hkeeter

It seems odd you don't mention the most important factor with the Surface in the Enterprise; the wait for the Surface with Win8 Pro. This will put full OS on the surface and allow Office, either local or 365 (cloud edition). Need to do a better job of research or at least tell why you are not talking about what is comming down the pipe line.

tkainz
tkainz

I've been patiently waiting for the Surface to come out because, quite frankly, I'm not a fan of Apple. This is mostly for personal reasons so please don't take this as a condemnation of the 'i' crowd in general. I've been playing with Window's 8 on my home desktop for some time now, and despite my earlier preconceived misgivings, I have come to actually enjoy using it. Sure there are certain aspects of it that I just don't get and don't understand Microsoft's logic in the how and why of certain features which were incorporated. I also found pretty much all of the apps contained in their app store to be too dumbed down and childish for me to really want to use. It's for this reason that I've been holding out for the Surface Pro. I want to run "real" programs... the ones that I use on my desktop on a day to day basis and not be corralled into using these limited functionality apps from the app store. Herein lies the problem though.... While the touch screen format of the tablet format is fun and pretty cool... it's not a necessity for me. As a matter of fact, the one thing that I really like about the surface is the attachable keyboard so I don't have to loose a good portion of my screen to the virtual keyboard. In talking with the sales rep from the Window's store, however, I now understand that the Surface pro, with a keyboard would be chiming in right at around the $1,000 mark (or more). Why in the hell would I want to pay that much money to effectively do what my $200 Acer net-book will already do? For the fun of having a touch screen? I think not! And while the rep at the MS store could certainly convince me that when compared to a comparable iPad device, you might get more bang for your buck with the Surface Pro that would only be an effective argument IF I were willing to pay that much for an iPad as well... which I would not. Sorry folks but I'm not willing to become a tablet Lemming. The computer... desktop, net-book, tablet (whatever) is a tool... plain and simple. whether used for work or play, it's a tool that has to have a viable cost-benefit ratio and a tablet, any tablet, with it's inherit limitations that costs 2, 3 or 4 times more than a comparably equipped laptop or net-book doesn't make sense to me. When (and if) a tablet is produced that can run a full off the shelf version of Windows 7 or 8 is available for under $500 I will consider it but for $1,000... they're high! Finally, with respects to "the cloud"... Again.... A nifty OPTION for storing data and accessing it from multiple devices but I'm not always connected to the internet when I have to do my work. If a program only runs (or only fully runs) when connected to the internet or if the data I rely upon is only available when I'm on-line then it doesn't work for me and I'll be darned if I'm going to pay for it.

attila2
attila2

While Microsoft does produce an "Office" for iOS it is a diluted product. For instance, earlier versions could not run macros (I am not sure what the current situation is) and it does not have the basic - menu shortcuts, e.g. -F for "File". In any case, the quality is not consistent over the different M$Office products (Word is nowhere near the quality of Excel). Other products, like Libre Office and Open Office have filled the gap to some extent, but not fully. An enterprising software publisher could target this gap. Microsoft did best when most computer users were computer semi-literate. As computer skills have grown, their FUD advantage has diminished. With the growth of "Bring Your Own Devices" the buying decision is shifting from IT departments (where once "no-one ever got fired for buying IBM") which tend to favour the Microsoft corporate marketing pitch to the users, who favour user-friendly products (and what their brother-in-law, neighbour or kids have on their smartphones or tablets).

rhon
rhon

As long as Ballmer is at the top any success will be based on coincidence and not on strategy. The examples given above are hardly making a compelling case. There are numerous better, friendlier and safer alternatives for SkyDrive that work on almost all platforms out there. The Microsoft hardware is still hard to find in many places and as soon as it becomes widely available the crapware will be included. On top of that do you really want your people to work with open systems where they can easily copy and upload data from and to a tablet. The openness might work out to be a nightmare if you are in charge of anything from a medical facility to a research center.

alfielee
alfielee

Patrick, since which end of the universe did Microsoft not attempt to control everything? You would have to have lived in a bubble to not know the ends they went to, to crush any & all opponents in every possible sphere imaginable. Microsoft were a scummy monopoliser & proved it many times over. Are you deliberately attempting to muddy Microsoft's perverse past? "Microsoft also seems a bit more pragmatic and less dogmatic than Apple" on the other hand has some basis in truth, by microscopic shards only. Apple have the crown at the moment but they have it only by a nibble. Microsoft continue their efforts in attempting to shut out "free" software, something that Apple quietly (not so now) in the past hated even more. Are you paid by these people to use a pragmatic spin to make these scummy companies appear better than they are?

dogknees
dogknees

the war of car makers? Is Ford going to capture the entire market? This question makes as much sense as asking who will win the tablet wars. ie None.

rhyous
rhyous

It may still win because of IT departments. If you are an IT department, it is a pain to support so many devices. The easiest devices for IT to support are Windows devices. The cost for IT to support a computer for 1 year is cheaper if the OS is windows. That is why Windows owns enterprise desktops. Apple just isn't there when it comes to IT yet and while Linux is there, it is not there when it comes to business desktop software (especially the in-house proprietary apps that are .NET only). So now if the computer and the tablet are the same OS, then you can use the same IT knowledge and you don't have to spend on retraining, etc... Soon you will see IT departments push for the Surface because it is more cost effective from an IT perspective.

TNT
TNT

I agree that the tablet market isn't a "war" and there is room in the market for both consumption devices and creation devices. Where Microsoft has already succeeded is bringing a content creation tablet to market. Windows 8 isn't counter-intuitive, its just different. It presents all your relevant data - emails, texts, IM's, news, weather, sports, etc - right to the home screen so you don't have ot go to the web or open an app to see what's what. That in itself is a welcome alternative to my Android device. Win RT has its place but its silly to compare it to iOS or Android when its only been out for three months. It too is a consumption device and I dare say the Start screen makes it more handy than any other tablet out there for that very reason. There is nothing like a tablet running Win 8 Pro for anyone who needs to be mobile. For sales, teaching professionals, mobile service people, doctors, trial lawyers, students and creative types its a fantastic tool. Tablets running Win 8 Pro are where all the action will be. While running Office is a big advantage, so is being able to run Photoshop and Illustrator. Microsoft is right, The Surface Pro and other Windows 8 Pro tablets aren't a threat to the iPad or Android market, its a threat to the laptop space. In that regard, I think it will be a huge win. One more discussion point: the first to market usually enjoys a heyday, but rarely ends up being the dominant player a few years later. The iPad came out a mere two and a half years ago, so you do the math.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

The surface is not a tablet and not a laptop, it has the worst features of both. You can really modify it. You can't really extend it. The Metro GUI has the utility of a boat anchor used as tennis racket, it has detachable (read, you will lose it) parts and I could go on, but ... if you are unlucky enough to buy one you will find out. The only thing it is for is content hogs to passively slice of bright cheap trinkets at steep prices. A real pay for play trap if I saw one. Microsoft is trying to slither into web pay content market like Google and Apple. All the surface is good for is just that a surface like a placemate for my dinner plate maybe.

trashmail
trashmail

Yup. If all goes well, we'll have a contender, for sure. My take on the RT Surface is that it's not ready for prime time. If my iPad worked like an RT Surface, I would consider it broken. Not impressive and it took me all of 15 minutes to put it in the 'irrelevant' bin. Later, when the Intel unit ships, I'll give it another look. MS has plenty of time and money to get it right, but the RT was rushed and I can see early adopters being set up for a 2013 disappointment. Meanwhile, Apple has the market AND Apple has the +$1000 market for computers, virtually 100%. Fascinating change in roles.

gillettdavid
gillettdavid

Whether Surface goes down in the history books as a winner or a loser could depend a lot on how you define the battlefield.... Apple carefully engineered the iPad not to compete with its desktop and laptop products; Amazon, Google, etc generally don't have such products, but designed their tablets to complement whatever customers might already have.... But in announcing Surface, Microsoft proclaimed "This is your next PC". So what matters isn't so much how well Surface does against other tablets -- to be a winner *by Microsoft's chosen criteria*, it has to destroy the existing Windows laptop market (and make a significant dent in desktops, too). Not that it's impossible -- it just seems to set the bar unnecessarily high. It *might* give Home Server a boost, as the home for work currently done on desktops that doesn't conveniently shift to a tablet.

2000423403
2000423403

It's a thinner laptop, not a tablet.

2000423403
2000423403

Sorry, it won't replace the iPad. The keyboard is cool, but ms still has yet to be innovative. The price of the keyboard + tablet > iPad Apple has the best ui's. period. Ms continues to copy that with windows 8, which is a lot better. Google is just a Linux box with so many points to get hacked its like a pc without mcafee. Windows 8 phone is looks promising though.

splinters
splinters

Expecting MS to win the Tablet War is akin to expecting a horse to win a 2 mile race after giving its competitors a 1.9 mile head start. The reason iPad was a runaway success is because Apple designed it as a true consumer product with a user interface that even a 4 year old can figure out in a very short period of time. If you put Surfaces in the hands of of a bunch of pre schoolers, they'd probably give up on it within a few minutes. Microsoft may well make inroads to the corporate and SME markets who place more emphasis on the tablet as a productivity tool that integrates well with their current I.T. infrastructure, but that is not going to give MS global dominance in the tablet space. Microsoft should have stayed out of the hardware business and focussed on software that runs across multiple platforms. With 100 million iPads out there, why haven't they released Office for iOS? They could sell the suite for $50 and make $0.5 billion in sales with 10% uptake. Apple's iWork apps are amog the top grossing productivity tools in the App Store, probably because they are the closest thing to Office apps that is available. The stats would be a whole lot different if Office for iOS was an option at a similar price point. Steve Ballmer needs to swallow his ego and view the iPad population as a huge marketing opportunity instead of seeing Apple as his mortal enemy who needs to be crushed. And of course, the same applies to the opportunity for MS in the Android space.

pchandyman44106
pchandyman44106

I have been an Android user for years. I had a chance to go with a Windows Phone but decided Instead to go iPhone 5. But my customer base still do not use iPhones but are still the past remnants of laptop owners unlike the curve we see everywhere else. As a result, they will be the purchasers of Windows 8 laptops and therefore be the latest adopters of tablets and smartphones. What will they pick? Considering they are typically older people who have suffered through the Windows 8 Experience and want to get the smartphone with the least steep learning curve... Enter the Windows smartphone which works the same way as the desktop or laptop or even netbook they have chosen because they are afraid of change and, as much as I love my iPhone goodbye will go the Apple market share for baby boomer revenge and the Supremacy of the Windows Phone. There are way more comfort windows phone seekers than Apple Koolaid Drinkers.

jelabarre
jelabarre

> ...Microsoft may still win the tablet war... Yeah, and that would be about as disastrous as Osama BinLaden winning.... (oh wait, he did, if you consider his goal being to destroy American freedoms...).

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Isn't the cloud based office 365 MS's solution to mobile platforms? Is there really any likely hood that they will dump a bunch of money into installed apps when office 365 already provides that functionality? Bill

russ
russ

This article tells you nothing other than this guy likes his Microsoft tablet. Big whoop. And to read it, you'd think that Google doesn't even exist. What a laugh. Microsoft is an anachronism in search of a mission. They have enough money that they'll be in business for a good while to come, but even the biggest names in computing have gone bye-bye. Honeywell, DEC, SGI, Sun... all faded memories. Microsoft isn't next, but they're on the long slow slide to irrelevance.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

And for 10 years nobody used it because the software wasn't touch-centric or even touch-friendly despite the fact that the OS made touch usable in every single app.

splinters
splinters

I'm both a windows and Apple user, and I have to say that the reliability of Apple products is higher, because Apple is in control of both hardware and OS design - upgrades just work. Compare this with Windows OS upgrades, where you can't be sure if your hardware will even run the next version. I've had experience where some hardware component manufacturers don't even supply updated drivers for new Windows versions, so I had to buy a new component hat worked with the newer OS. I think Microsoft is trying to take Apple's lead in this regard with Surface. Whether it will bear fruit in the market place is another story. Of course there's the risk of a single hardware/software vendor holding you to ransom for their products as there's nowhere else to shop, but Apple tends to remain vigilant of it competition and sets its prices accordingly, particularly for its software.

splinters
splinters

Where have you seen Office for iOS? Are you sure you're not confusing this with Office for Mac OS? iOS and Mac OS are 2 completely different animals.

bobc4012
bobc4012

the Linux OS is much more secure than the Windows OS. You don't see regular "security patches" every week for Linux like you do for Windows. The Linux kernel was built on a sound base. The Windows kernel was built on a GIGO base.

hartiq
hartiq

I've been looking for what I've been calling "my last computer" for a few months. I wanted something with loads of RAM, loads of HDD space and expansion room and with as many extras as I could find [BD, TV card, memory card slots, USB 3 and any other goodies that were available.]. I seriously considered a Linux box and a desktop Mac Pro as I could run Windows on one of those in addition to whatever native OS they came with. I decided, yesterday, to go to a retail shop where I could play with the latest and greatest boxes, or at least those available on the shelves. I thought it would help me at least to eliminate things I *don't* want. [Unwanted advice number 1: *never* go to play with the nice shiny boxes unless you want to come home with one.] Vast swathes of shelving were given over to W8 machines. There were the odd few Win7 boxes and a lot of tablets and some laptops and many Apple boxes but most of the Windows desktops and laptops were W8. I played with just about all of them. HP, Sony, Samsung, Asus and many others, all sorts of prices and specifications. After about the tenth machine I tried, I noticed I was doing something strange on *all* of the W8 machines: I immediately clicked on the "Desktop" tile. I ignored W8 and all its prettiness completely and jumped to the more familiar interface that looks like Windows 7, Win98, Win95 and WinMe (not very much like WinME but a little). I could immediately discern the specifications of the installed software and the hardware in the Classic interface but I didn't even bother to *try* to find out how to do it in W8. I saw a really lovely Win7 machine with all the things I needed ["needed" being euphemistic and really meaning "it was all shiny and big and I wanted it"] and I bought it. It was thrice the price of a quite powerful W8 box but it had more bits, more grunt, more room and a vastly easier to use OS. As I've mentioned, I doubt I'll be buying another box, unless the world gets really unlucky and I turn out to be immortal in which case I'll need something in about a hundred years or so, maybe sooner but not by much. I never *considered* buying a W8 box nor buying an Apple machine and loading W8 onto it. I did think of running Win7, WinXP and earlier OSes as VMs but I never saw myself loading W8. Being retired, I no longer need to keep up with new OSes and from what little I've seen of it I have no interest in learning W8 for fun. I think I'll just skip it. I realise I'm not typical of the computer-buying public. I know lots, I've seen lots, I've broken many OSes and helped fix them and I am in the enviable position of doing computing for fun, now, as my hobby. I have an Android tablet, a MacBook Pro and an XP box, and now a Win7 giant of a machine. I think I have way enough toys. What my choice of new box tells anyone is that *I* didn't like the look and feel of W8 and I don't have the patience to acquire the taste for it. I doubt I'm very representative of any market but I did notice that few others were playing with the new W8 machines; most were fiddling with the Macs and the tablets. That may have been a matter of timing, of course. I hope Microsoft can make a go of W8; one OS to rule them all seems like a noble goal and a brilliant idea, but I don't think I'll buy it. Indeed, I didn't.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

Hardly a "war." Apple has the consumer market, which MS is desperately trying to muscle in against Apple with tablets running Windows-8. Good luck. Microsoft is/has alienated the business/enterprise market with its touch-centric tablet-oriented Windows-8, which contains very little for the business/enterprise market. Not a wise move. When will MS wake up and give the business/enterprise market a significant improvement over Windows-7? Windows-9? [Doubtful that Windows-8 will have a major UI update for laptops/desktops users...arrogance gets in the way.]

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

sit easily in the pocket. I use a cell phone to make and receive phone calls - and that's all I want it to do.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

bucks each month on Internet download fees in every country outside North America.

bobc4012
bobc4012

unlike IBM, they do not have their foot in the door with the sales and services support.

JJFitz
JJFitz

"And for 10 years [i]nobody[/i] used it" Nobody = not enough people and I still say the stylus is a much better input method than fingers.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... but many others have and continue to do so even today.

JJFitz
JJFitz

What I said was, "I agree that you shouldn't NEED a stylus to make some things work on a tablet but [b]I NEED a stylus for my line of work[/b]." I understand that many people have different computing needs. FYI: The broad spongy (plastic?) tip on the end of a capacitive stylus is not there to prevent scratches. It is there because a capacitive screen requires a larger surface area of contact to work properly. I know because I have experimented with capacitive styli by trimming them down. You cannot get them to work reliably when they are trimmed down to a pen-sized tip. If they could design them more like pens, companies would manufacture them. By the way, I have never seen any capacitive styli with a clear end. Could you send me a link? Thanks.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Granted, they use a broad clear plastic tip to help prevent scratches on the glass, but they have that 1mm or less diameter tip. That said, I've also clearly stated that while no one device is best for all, there are enough choices now that each person can find what's best for them. What I dislike are people who try to claim one device is best for all or those who try to claim some device is useless for all. Just because one brand or device is disliked by one doesn't mean everyone would or should dislike it.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I agree that you shouldn't NEED a stylus to make [i]some[/i] things work on a tablet but I NEED a stylus for [i]my[/i] line of work. I work for a biotech company where I interact with research scientists, clinicians, administrators, process engineers, and IT professionals. Since I have over 30 years of experience in research, engineering, and IT, I attend a lot of meetings where I need to take handwritten notes and draw lots of network infrastructure diagrams, org charts, rough graphs, equations, etc. I use a fine stylus in MS OneNote. A virtual keyboard would not cut it for me. It is slower than handwriting for me. I use a lot of symbols when I take notes that the keyboard either does not have or has buried under several layers. While a capacitive stylus is passable for casual notes and drawings, comparing it to a resistive (think Wacom) pen, is like using a fat felt-tip marker when you need a mechanical pencil. The biggest problem with a capacitive stylus is that you can not see precisely where you are writing. A resistive stylus has a thin tip on the end making it vastly more useful for drawing as well as selecting small icons, tabs, radio buttons, drop down arrows, and text. (especially with legacy programs) It is much better than a capacitive stylus and vastly better than a finger. The nice thing is the different input methods are not mutually exclusive. I use my finger to swipe the screen and my stylus for finer motor movements. I do the same on my Windows 8 convertible tablet, my 7" n-trig stylus supported android tablet, and my s Pen supported Galaxy Note II.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

capacitive touch screen display--including the PC all-in-ones and laptops currently available. You want stylus, you have stylus. The point Jobs made was that you shouldn't NEED a stylus to make it work.

Thundergunt
Thundergunt

Actually I manage quite nicely. Let me look at what I have installed. I have an Office productivity suite that I can use to edit and view Excel, Powerpoint and Word documents. An email client that connects to Exchange Server with Outlook Mail, Calendar and Contacts. I have a Gmail client that allows me to read email while off line as well as Evernote, Firefox, Google Chrome, FTP and SSH/telnet clients, PDF/eBook reader and Word to PDF converter, Google drive/Dropbox, Skype, graphics editor, a code/HTML editor, etc. etc. So I have all the productivity applications that anyone would need to be productive in a business environment. Hell, I even installed a web server. The only thing I have not been able to find is a high end graphics editor like Photoshop and the code editor is a bit lacking but works well enough. When I hook up a mouse and keyboard I can get pretty freakin close to being as productive as I would be on a regular desktop. If need be I can always RDP onto my desktop (VPN is built in) and work from my desktop. And yeah, I do have multimedia apps, Emagazines and some games installed. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. ;-) Besides the display is something like 320 DPI and high definition videos look absolutely gorgeous. To clarify, this is a high end tablet with a 9 in screen. It has a data connection so it can be used as a phone. So it is a smart phone just with a really big screen :)

bobc4012
bobc4012

you are on the Windows phone talking to an important customer when right in mid-sentence, you are cut off as "patch Tuesday" commences and takes a half-hour to install all those security patches (due to an insecure OS).

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

to perform any of the productivity functions a computer does; but does have enough functionality to be a nice consumer media toy.

Duke E Love
Duke E Love

It has a compass that pin points your location and direction you are facing on google maps. THAT is worth the price alone.

Duke E Love
Duke E Love

A smart phone and/or tablet is not so much a phone as much as it is a fully functional Pocket Computer/Web browser/Email client/ Personal information manager (PIM), beeper, 4G Wireless Router, Game boy, MP3 player, flashlight, digital camera, HD Camcorder, Video conferencing machine, on demand TV and Video player, FM Radio, GPS, Tape recorder/Dictation machine, Calculator, Alarm clock, Stop watch, Electronic Book /Magazine/Comic book/ News paper reader, a tool that can take a picture of a wine,beer, food or product label, bar code etc and searches the internet for it (Goggle Goggles) that just happens to be able to (some times) make phone calls.

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