Microsoft might be planning an iPad mini competitor

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

  1. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1
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    Bring back the Zune, because in a world dictated to by Steve Ballmer, brown is the new black!

    The Archangel
     
    #11 Gabriel1, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  2. AQ_OC

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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....
     
  3. thewitt

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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.
     
  4. s2mikey

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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!
     
  5. AQ_OC

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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.
     
  6. s2mikey

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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.
     
  7. Gabriel1

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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
     
  8. s2mikey

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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. ;)
     
  9. McCannon01

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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!
     
  10. s2mikey

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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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