Microsoft might be planning an iPad mini competitor

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by RaduTyrsina, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. RaduTyrsina
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    7-inch-windows-8-tablet.png


    So far, Microsoft hasn’t done very well for itself in the tablet department, where the Apple’s iPad still reigns supreme. But according to new information we stumbled upon, Microsoft is not just yet ready to give up the fight. On the contrary.

    Users owning devices with a resolution less than 1,366 x 768 pixels aren’t really invited to try out the new Windows 8 operating system. However, this requirement has been recently dropped. Without making any fuss about it, the tech giant has changed its policy in the resolution department, giving the green light to devices that sport 1,024 x 768. This resolution seems to hint towards a 7-inch or 8-inch screen tablet that – if released, will li​​kely compete with the iPad mini.

    Even Apple had to adapt to the growing trend of mini tablets which come at a more accessible price. So, maybe now it’s time for Microsoft to do the same. The company has released the Surface and other Windows 8 tablets, but apparently, the market is oriented towards smaller editions at the moment.

    The changes outlined above, were included in the “Windows Certification Newsletter” dating from the 12th of March:

    “We’re changing the System.Client.Tablet.Graphics.MinimumResolution requirement to create a consistent minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 at a depth of 32 bits across all Windows 8 system form factors. The physical dimensions of the display panel must still match the aspect ratio of the native resolution. This doesn’t imply that we’re encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution.”

    Adding straw to the fire, Redmond and Barnes & Noble have reportedly teamed up to design a “Microsoft Reader” device of some sorts. Might this be the lower resolution Windows 8 tablet?

    Source: Wind8Apps
  2. iJamesH
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    iJamesH iPad Junkie

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    LOL you'd think Microsoft would learn their lesson with the failure of the Surface. Suffice it to say they failed coming into the tablet market now they're going into the mini tablet market going up against the iPad mini and Kindle? You got to wonder where their head is at these days.
  3. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I hear ya, but if every time a company failed at something and just gave up.... We'd hardly have the cool stuff we have now. Apple has had their share of head scratchers too. Heck, they were basically out of business for a while. I'm glad they stayed the course. :)

    IMO, any competition that keeps companies on their toes is worthwhile and welcomed by me. No doubt though that the surface RT is a mess.
  4. fb si
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    fb si iPF Novice

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    A tablet that would perform even worse than an android powered machine (been there, done that). I'll pass. Lol
  5. iJamesH
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    iJamesH iPad Junkie

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    I guess the old saying goes "if you first don't succeed try try again"!
  6. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    Yes, but eventually you do have to accept when it isn't going to work out. :)
  7. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    MS is a master at coming from behind. It will be a long haul, but they will eventually be competitive. Apple cannot always be top dog when there is a lot of hungry competition. But they don't have to worry about a Surface Mini ---- yet. :)
  8. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    Really? When was the last time they came from behind with something that rocked your world?
  9. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing rocks my world......
  10. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    Probably never. MS is usually first or near the top, just because they are so ingrained and huge. The tablet market is one where they just don't have a strong hold on or even know what to do. It's obvious that they have the resources to try and make this work. Just like apple has lots of resources to get the ball rolling on something if they want to. Either way, more choices and competition are good. Period! :)
  11. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bring back the Zune, because in a world dictated to by Steve Ballmer, brown is the new black!

    The Archangel
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  12. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If I look back over my working life, it is fair to say that MS has had way more impact than Apple has. Apple is focused mainly in the consumer product realm, where MS is more in the business/productivity realm. MS, IMO, has killed off a lot of innovation in the software realm....gone are true competitors for the productivity suites, programming tools, etc. It's made our work lives with PCs mostly boring. I can't remember the last time I saw some interesting software i just had to have that runs on Windows.

    I do hope that the way Apple handles apps spreads throughout the industry. They see hardware as the main thing...and software is something you buy once, and it's yours forever. They want you to buy hardware. MS wants you to buy software (or at least that's how they used to think). It seems that MS is lining up with Apples approach to things...which is why buying hardware like the Surface Pro and even a Surface mini from MS....then they sell you new hardware every so often and you simply redownload your apps. But...since MS has mainly been a software company, they are looking to get you to pay subscription fees. Sadly, I think they will get their way...though it won't happen overnight...but they play for the long term....
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  13. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    Just questioning your hypothesis that Microsoft is brilliant at come from behind.

    I can't think of anything where they have come from behind and become a leader.
  14. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I agree. Apples ecosystem is to be commended and replicated where possible. It just works. For the longest time it was compatibility that kept windows users sticking together. Just wasn't feasible to swap files between the two systems. Now, that's less of an issue. I also don't care for the subscription model. For example, I'd love to have a pro version of visual studio but damn its expensive and the cost never goes away. Yuk!
  15. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They come from behind to be a major player...not necessarily a leader....but as they have deep-rooted impact, they actually are a leader [which I think is mostly negative, frankly]. Apple has gotten rich by appealing to consumers, but they don't even register in the business world where people need to get stuff done. Heck, look at the Mac Pro...and all of that Final Cut business. I think it is a shame that such a big company can't keeps its pro-level products up to date. There is only so much that people can do with a tablet and a phone -- no matter what processors you put inside and what the OS can do.
  16. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    Completely agree about apples lack of professional products. No one I know uses anything apple unless its a touch, a pad, or a phone. Their laptops and desktop systems are horribly over priced on top of being hardware challenged in most cases. Just doesnt make sense.
  17. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, I can't entirely agree with that, I use Apple Mac computers, I know plenty of others that do also. In addition, and as far as being hardware challenged goes, I've been in many pro music studios over the last ten to fifteen years and almost without exception they use Apple hardware running Logic. It's horses for courses, but music producers push the hardware right to the limits, most other types of professional user won't come close, and they have been choosing Apple for years.

    The Archangel
  18. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    Yeah, I guess I do know some specific user bases that do go with apple. Video editors, musicians, graphics heavy users, people like that. But, walk into most homes and there is a much higher chance of them having a windows based PC or laptop than an apple one. The tablet is slowly changing that though. ;)
  19. McCannon01
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    McCannon01 iPF Noob

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    I know this is an iPad forum, but since the MS vs Apple subject has been broached here, I’d like to throw in my 2 cents.


    I would like to see Apple make a more concerted effort in entering the manufacturing and business worlds. MS could use the competition and some of us could use the break. There are, IMHO, three major obstacles but they are not insurmountable.


    First, as S2mikey pointed out, the Apple laptops and desktops are horribly expensive (as seen on the surface) compared to the plethora of cheap MS Windows computers available to managers trying to save a buck. One would think it shouldn't be hard to overcome this because Apple should be able to offer special business pricing and, as pointed out by AQ_OC, Apple's software model in the way upgrades are handled will be cheaper in the long run. Also, those cheap Windows machines don't last very long, in my experience, and the turnover and loss of productivity has a price of its own. I missed the point of what is meant by Apple is "hardware challenged".


    Second, there is attitude and perception on the part of company management. This hasn't changed since the very beginning where it was impossible to convince any manager or corporate executive that a device that didn't have "IBM" emblazoned on its face could actually be a "real" computer (the exception was in the manufacturing environment with mini-computers - and even that was a battle). MS was the lucky winner of the "IBM endorsement lottery" and now MS, in the boardroom and office, is the new IBM. Execs and managers will give lip service to "change is good", but they actually hate it and overcoming this obstacle is quite difficult. [Side note, AQ_OC: this is likely the reason MS has had a greater impact on our lives than Apple.]


    Third, there is a wide base of software that will only run on an MS powered machine and compatibility throughout a given enterprise as well as with business partners is a priority for productivity reasons. A very tough nut to crack even for a wealthy company like Apple. [Side note: I'm amused by the advertising competition between companies like Dell, Samsung, HP, et al, because in the end they are all the same - a MS Windows machine.] Oh yeah, you CAN run MS Windows on an Apple if you want to, but what’s the point in that? Go to your local discount store or Amazon and get a cheap computer that runs MS Windows!


    So what is a company like Apple to do to break into the corporate world as a competitor to the MS machine? First I'll relate some real life experience. I am a developer for various process and manufacturing systems (semi-retired at this point). A typical start of my day at the office or lab or factory floor was to walk in, start up the computer sporting MS Windows, wait for the logon splash and enter the ctrl-alt-del to enter my password, hang up my coat, visit the restroom, get a cup of coffee at the galley down the hall, and upon return to the workplace it may be just finishing with the boot up. In contrast, my iMac or MacBook Pro will usually be waiting for me before I can hang up my coat. The MS machine can be counted on to offer up the infamous "blue screen of death" or just seem to stop working several times a month whereas no such occurrence has greeted me from an Apple product (I've had the iMac for 3 years and the MackBook, iPad, and iPhones are more recent). One of my IT savvy coworkers pointed out the problem isn’t MS Windows, but it is the fact I (and many of my other co-developers) require “extra services†to do the job. Well, gee, maybe it’s because those “extra services†are being forced to run on a platform that can’t handle them in the first place but there are no perceived alternatives. Those services are part of development or run time packages for Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and other intelligent devices supplied by companies such as Rockwell Automation, Siemens, and many others that are used in the process and manufacturing realm of virtually any given manufacturing or chemical making firm (and many others).


    To visualize what I am about to propose imagine a Venn Diagram of a manufacturing company showing the distribution of computer power between the business and manufacturing sectors of the company. Place the business circle on the left and the manufacturing circle on the right with a 5 to 10 percent overlapping union between them. The left circle is virtually all MS Windows computers and the circle on the right is primarily process controllers and other computing power by Rockwell, Siemens, et al. The union in the diagram represents the development and interface computers used to program and interface to the machines on the right and to send data to the machines on the left.


    As I alluded to above, MS Windows may not be the best platform to be occupying the union space, but currently it is the only platform available. A company with a computing engine like Apple could take advantage of this. IMHO, if Apple could partner with a Rockwell or Siemens to provide a super fast and reliable process development, communication, and interface platform for the manufacturing circle, it would eventually migrate into the business circle as well. Apple getting into the business circle from the executive/manager end (top down approach) is likely to fail due to the three reasons cited above, but if Apple were to attempt a bottom up approach starting from manufacturing, IMHO, success could be quite likely. Furthermore, it has been my experience that engineers and techies are always looking for better ways to do their jobs and to make things and if you show them something worthwhile, they will push for it within. I’d like to see Apple give it a go!
  20. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    All very well said. Apple could do it but its going to take some work and time. As you pointed out there is a deep engrained attitude that for serious work one needs a powerful windows based PC to really get the job done. Plus, there are lots of server options in the windows world which apple can't really match up against so the networking aspect is another consideration that scares managers. I've used macs at work from time to time and they are nice to use. But, windows is everywhere and no one is going to just replace that stuff overnight. Cost is the other big issue, as we discussed. It's 3x to 4x more per system if an office group was all Mac. Good luck getting a bean counter to authorize that purchase!

    As tablets gain more and more popularity with apple leading the way, you wonder if apple even cares about the business world as far as PCs go? They probably figure that tablets will replace many of the PCs so why go crazy trying to push macs when iPads and other small devices appear to be the wave of the future? Just a thought.

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