Android tablets? Sure, Microsoft exec Steve Guggenheimer’s heard of them. That doesn’t mean he thinks they’re worth a toot, at least not in this WSJ interview. A bold stance! And one that doesn’t really hold up.
Guggenheimer was speaking at Computex, and may have just been flush with excitement the announcement over Asus’ Windows 7 Eee Pad. Because his logic supporting Windows 7 tablet dominance is as faulty as an overheated Archos 9:
“There are always lots of noises at the beginning of new category,” Mr. Guggenheimer said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Computex trade show that opened here today and has focused heavily on tablets. When netbooks-slimmed down, less expensive versions of the traditional notebook PC-were introduced three years ago, he said, “It was 95% not on Windows, and three years later it is 95% on Windows.”
So: because netbooks eventually became almost exclusively Windows machines, tablets will too? Hrmmm.
First, there was no viable, mainstream Linux competitor when netbooks first launched, to say nothing of one with Google’s market-moving influence. In fact, if anything Microsoft should be worried about losing their netbook dominance once Chrome OS gets its broad release.
Second, there have already been plenty of Windows tablets on the market that have failed to get any traction in the marketplace. And the platform’s most prominent supporter – the HP Slate – was killed in favour of webOS. In fact! HP spent $US1.2 billion, effectively, not to have to release a Windows 7 tablet.
No one’s disagreeing that the tablet market is nascent enough that winners and losers have yet to shake themselves out – although the iPad could certainly be considered a win – but if Guggenheimer’s comments are indicative of how Microsoft views the market these days, they could be in for a very unpleasant surprise. [WSJ]