Leaked slides: Microsoft's battle plan vs. iPad; Does it make sense?

Wonder how Microsoft is planning to counter the Apple iPad phenomenon? Take a look at this leaked slide presentation. Then, give us your thoughts on Microsoft's approach.

Microsoft is planning its 2011 attack against the Apple iPad, which is running roughshod over the tablet market with 95% market share and starting to eat away at the sales of low-end Windows netbooks and laptops. According to a leaked presentation obtained by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is focusing its tablet strategy on five key areas that it considers iPad weaknesses:

  1. Enterprise security and compliance
  2. IT manageability
  3. Integration with Microsoft apps and platforms
  4. User choice
  5. Content creation

The last two items are exactly the same things that ASUS is targeting in its iPad attack, and items one and two are what BlackBerry is going after with its PlayBook.

Assuming these slides are legitimate, I think Microsoft has articulated the iPad's weaknesses pretty well -- other than overstating the compliance and security issues (Apple and enterprises worked together in 2010 to work through these issues in a lot of instances).

However, while I like Microsoft's strategy, I have doubts about its product roadmap. Microsoft is still putting its eggs in the Windows 7 basket for tablets, and putting the full version of Windows on tablets is a mistake -- at least for the mass market. Windows is too much of a resource and battery hog and the user experience is too complicated for tablets.

What do you think? Take a look at the slides below and then vote in our poll and jump into the discussion.

The slides

Take the poll


Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.


If these slides are to be believed, Microsoft may well have a strong strategy to at least bring the fight back to Apple as the slides clearly raised some valid points. However, there's also the concern you raised on the resource-intensive nature of Windows 7 which makes it a risky choice for this kind of strategy. MS will need to develop an OS specifically for the tab device market, like Google have done with the Android 3 OS. Microsoft already has a strong base in the enterprise systems arena and a Windows based tab that can match, if not beat, the aesthetics and performance of the iPad would fit seamlessly into the MS-based enterprise. Hardware choice is another thing to consider. If MS are able to develop a successful Tab OS that's able to port with hardware developed by companies which already supply Windows-compatible hardware, then these companies will do well to make Windows tab available for their existing customers, who can adopt the new systems as part of their existing hardware vendor contracts. It will be a hard fight, but if MS are able to get their acts together and build the perfect Tab OS, then they can give Apple a run for their money, iPad or no iPad

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