Microsoft just leap frogged over Apple and Google at CES

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by thejadedmonkey, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I dunno if anyone else caught this, but MS just leap frogged over the big "A" at CES.

    First, there's Windows SoC's, ARM ports, etc. This shows that MS is capable and able and going to move onto getting their product into the tablet market, in the best way possible. It will be optimized, won't drain the battery. In short, it will have the hardware advantage that Apple currently has, with the momentum of Microsoft behind it, and the refinement that android currently lacks.

    The other thing is Surface. Instead of a huge table, it's now just less than 6" thick. Imagine your loving room table, a giant computer. Tablets just won't matter anymore, when the table itself is the computer. We talk about having Scrabble on our iPads, with iPhones as letter boards, but what happens when we can use the table as our scrabble board, and cellphone charger, and camera dock... Or our desk as an extension of the laptop?

    It's coming, and while Apple and Google battle over the e-newspaper, Microsoft just blew past it. Microsoft has the surface, kenect, and now the ability to put windows anywhere, and it's probably going to be invading a living area near you, soon.

    Thoughts... Opinions... *LTD*? :p
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    System on a Chip: That isn't exactly new.

    ARM: its gonna need a lot of changes to get onto arm I would imagine, which makes me wonder about compatbility and how much of the full experience it will really be.

    Great they are going to move to get their product onto the tablet market. The tablet market has already started. its a very uphill battle, and they need to do a lot to be actually more functional and more importnatly, more compelling, than android or the iPad. Meh

    "momentum of Microsoft behind it" Not sure what you mean by that. I don't see MS has having a lot of momentum considering they are currently also rans in the phone and tablet business. They have a lot of work to do there.

    Not sure where they will have the hardware advantage apple has. The advantage apple has is that they control the hardware and software and integration with the OS completely. MS won't have all of that unless they create their own hardware, which probably wouldn't be enough to unseat iOS and android combined given the head starts they have.

    Wow a table thats a computer. I can only imagine how insanely expensive it would be, and I frankly want something that moves with me, instead of me having to sit down and stare straight down to use it. no thanks. Also, its not out, and no plans to be released, so its a moot point. If its really compelling, they won't be the only ones to do something with it (and likely aren't the only ones thinking about the possibilities anyway)

    I guess some of the stuff was pretty cool, and competition is good, but you are really voerselling the importance of these announcements. Theya re more or less talking about all the same stuff their competitors already do. There's a lot left to be learned about it all as well.
  3. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    A table computer...bah! Microsoft is decades late:

  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Leap frogged Apple and Google with an announcement. LOLz. Talk to me when they have a shipping product.
  5. MacVixen macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    While at Disneyland over Thanksgiving their "future home" exhibit had these computer tables from Microsoft that were split into 4 different screens. They demonstrated sending information from your mobile phone to the table for pictures, etc. It was pretty cool, though didn't seem to work all that well. Is that what Surface is all about?
  6. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    The only momentum Microsoft has is down the plug-hole.

    Who told you about my loving room? :eek:

    Anyhow, there's no space for a big table in there - what with the swing, fur rugs, mirrors and inflatables.
  7. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
  8. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    To "leap frog" requires a shipping product. Until then, it's just blowing hot air.
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Indeed, the past is strewn with vaporware announcements and unfulfilled promises.

    Speculation is all fine and well. But until the device is available at a Best Buy near you, it's all talk.
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    All I am saying is that the tablet wars are going to be very interesting. It will be interesting to see which company wins overall.

    You can all laugh and mock Microsoft, but I thick they have just as much a chance as Apple and Google. HP and palm are totally out of the game tho imo.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm not sure why this leap means MS leap frogged apple? Yeah they ported windows to a different architecture, probably runs like a pig under the lower powered CPU

    Except that MS' Surface is not a consumer product, never was and still isn't. Cool, most definitely. Leap frogging apple, no because they already had Surface and hadn't done much with it, at least from a consumer perspective.
  12. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    'bout sums up the history of MS
  13. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2010
    I think Microsoft is about to be the future unless Apple makes some big moves.

    "Be What's Next"
  14. okboy macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    Sorry, but what good would Windows do on a tablet? Sure, Microsoft can make the desktop and IE touch-friendly, but what about the rest of the apps on the OS? They just aren't made for touch. They're about 500,000 touch-capable apps behind iOS and Android.

    And Surface? Please. Microsoft is always showing off R&D stuff that never makes it to market. Courier, for one, and there are many more that I can't recall the names of. Put the surface in a bar so I can order my food using it. But I'm not going to hunch over a table when I can just put my iPad in my lap. I mean, really.

    Anyway, this post has to be flame bait.
  15. hayesk macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2003
    Apple succeeded because they understood that touch devices are different from desktop computers and developed a UI that was more intuitive than anything done before.

    MS just copies features without understanding why they work or how they fit within the overall UI. We'll see if they have figured it out.
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    A bit of hyperbole, perhaps? But it's a great way to get a discussion going, eh?
    I kinda actually agree with you. I didn't see the announcement, and I agree with others that until we see the product in action nobody has leapfrogged anybody. While MS is getting their new tablet to market Apple will be getting V2 and V3 ready. It's a moving goal. However.... I think Apple is actually worried about losing the tablet market. Don't look at the actual numbers of iPads, and market share... by that measure, of course, Apple currently owns the segment.

    Look instead at a) the iPad pricing and b) how hard Apple worked to put iPads into all sorts of different retail outlets.

    In the serious reviews that I run across about competitor's tablets the recurring theme, over and over again (redundancy intentional), is that other makers are having a hard time matching the hardware specs for the price point. That is not like Apple that prefers to sell it's stuff as a premium product and doesn't compete on price. Also, look at the range of retailers that the iPad is available at.

    I think Apple was worried that someone with a huge installed customer base - like MS - would come out with a product that was - more or less - as good as the iPad and steal the market away. MS can do it because they can leverage their Windows clout. My interpretation is that Apple was worried about a competent MS tablet, and wanted to saturate the market first with their own product. Make it so that any other tablet will be compared to the iPad, as the de facto standard.

    And then you get the Surface. Which is typical MS. Engineer types will be drooling over it (yech, don't know that I like that mental image, actually) but obviously never really prototyped in a typical setting.

    You can't really type on it, the ergonomics are bad, plus no touch feed-back. You can't really do any serious photo post production on it (my profession). I just tried leaning over my desk to simulate looking at an image and then picking tools and using them. My back started hurting in short order.

    I can't put papers or a telephone on the working surface. So not a good working computer, which means recreation. But not movies, trying staring down at your desk for 2 hours. Now try to fit another person or 3.

    So, perhaps good for games - and it may end up being a great non-portable games table. And expensive. Remember that on top of the cost of the computer there will be the cost of the table.

    Just IMHO, of course....
  17. SmokeyRobinson macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2010
    Surface 2.0 looks very cool. Its no longer a custom rig with infrared cameras, its now using Pixel-sense technology instead which means a Windows PC + 4" of gorilla glass.

    I thought the scanning ability was pretty cool

  18. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I don't mean to use the surface as a typical computer screen, but rather as a 2nd device, similar to a 7" touchscreen for keeping the photoshop palate on.

    You drop your phone on it: it syncs and charges. You put a piece of paper on it, and tell the computer to scan it. Shuffling around images for placement in a book... not a typical computer, but more an accessory.

    What I see, which I realize I did a horrible job explaining in my excitement, is how MS now has the technology to leapfrog the entire tablet revolution. While Apple and Google are hard at work minimizing the computer to fit in your hand, what MS is working on is hiding away the computer completely, so that you are left with things like a table, or hand gestures, that can tell a machine to do something. Instead of holding a computer, you interface with the computer directly.

    Microsoft's got it all ready to go... Apple and Google, not so much (from what I can see).
  19. jaw04005, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Apple has had OS X running on ARM processors for years. How exactly is that leap-frogging the competition?

    As Jobs said, no desktop operating has ever had success in the tablet space. Microsoft is doing what they always do --- trying to shoehorn desktop Windows and the desktop Windows UI into devices in which it doesn't belong (Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Windows Media Center, Portable Media Center, etc).

    Windows Phone should be the future of the company, not Windows 7. Not to mention, this ARM-based version of Windows 8 won't even be able for some 2+ years. Who even knows what Android and iOS will be like by that time!

    At least Microsoft under Gates had guts, all Microsoft under Ballmer seems to do is keep trying to preserve their desktop cashcow.

    As for Surface, it's interesting (and seems very much like a Bill Gates project). However, they once again decided to confine Surface to the commercial instead of the consumer space. So, in the near term it's irrelevant.

    What Apple and to a lesser extent Google do well is integrate. Microsoft (and Sony for that matter) need to learn how to do that.

    Edit: Mary Jo Foley sums it up nicely.;content
  20. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    not to mention TRON in 1982... :eek:


    Nonetheless, the Surface Computers at the MS Store are pretty cool... ;)
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Do you have a link to the demo? I'm remembering perhaps an older demo. It's not the first time MS has talked about the Surface, iirc. Perhaps this new demo is better...
  22. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
    Microsoft seem like one of the few companies with the resources to really compete with Apple against the iPad but only if they made their own tablet rather than following the Windows model of doing the software and licensing it to hardware makers. Then they can make a version of Windows and a device that are made for each other like iPad / iOS.
  23. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    I think thats part of it, I also think that a lot of the Microsoft execs, Balmer included, are still in the mindset that the executives biggest competitors are other Microsoft execs, not Apple, Google etc.

    Therefore instead of cooperating with each other in developing seamless products a la Apple they are more interested in sniping each other. You can see this with Microsoft's product offerings as well as inside the products themselves. For instance at one point Microsoft was developing 3...THREE! different phone platforms, none of which were compatible with each other. And their supposedly "future" platform is an inconsistent mess, very little of the UI, API etc really meshes well with anything else. Ditto for the Windows UI, an inconsistent incoherent mess. It seems that the executives are so worried about trying to establish themselves as the dominant ones at Microsoft that they are willing to sacrifice the product in order to avoid having to "compromise" with another executive(and testimony from former Microsoft employees tends to back this up)

    It's pretty obvious that Balmer is either unwilling or unable to stop these intracompany battles, and considering that he has 0 technical vision should have been sacked eons ago. Why the Microsoft shareholders aren't clamoring for Balmer's head is beyond me, in the past couple years Microsoft seems to be the ONLY major tech company whose stock has lost value. Amazon, Apple, Google, Cisco, Oracle etc. have all increased in value, often skyrocketing. Meanwhile Microsoft seems unable to actually release a coherent product that actually adds any sort of value over it's predecessor....
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    So true, typically when play to not lose, you do just that. Apple took a chance on developing a phone that was unlike anything else. They took a chance on a tablet when the track record for such devices were horrid.

    While at times, I think apple plays it safe, they have produced some very innovative products that help define who they are and the direction of the industry.

    For Microsoft, not playing safe began with their win7 phones. They also fixed what was wrong with windows Vista, and win7 is a winner. They're promising to have some more radical changes in win8. So if this is indeed the direction of MS, then they realize playing safe and projecting their cash cows is insufficient and need to stick their neck out from time to time.
  25. KnightWRX, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Momentum of Microsoft ? You mean their Desktop Operating System Monopoly ? No it won't, these aren't desktop/laptop systems. Unless you're hinting that Microsoft will abuse its current monopoly to try to gain one in another product segment ? Yeah... DOJ 2.0...

    Microsoft is on a decline. So they've ported Windows to ARM ? What's the big deal ? They had it running on PPC, Alpha, MIPS and x86 in the 90s. Linux runs all of those still, plus ARM, and others. NetBSD is the most portable operating system there is.

    Running a system on a different architecture is no big feat of engineering. Also, Windows 7's problem is not the kernel or the hardware architecture (drains the battery, what a weird thing to say, as if that was even the problem to begin with), it's the UI. A keyboard/mouse UI doesn't work on tablets. Tablets have been around for ages, the iPad isn't new. The ones that had moderate success pre-iPad were the Nokia offerings running Maemo, mostly in Europe. The N810 was a decent seller for them.

    Getting the kernel to run on ARM and compiling the userspace for it isn't much of an accomplishment and screams of a me too move. It's not leapfrogging, it's joining the competition where it has been for years. MS is one of the last consumer OS maker to come to ARM.

    That's the biggest illusion Microsoft managed to pull out of their marketing department ever and it worked since it gets repeated so often. What was wrong with Vista ? It had a weird copy bug on launch that made file copies slow as molasses. Other than that, Vista was mostly fine. The "major" problem with Vista was Intel Integrated Graphics in low-end PCs and the "Ready for Vista" "Made for Vista" sticker program. Computers that couldn't run Aero got the "Ready for Vista" sticker before Vista launched and when people tried to run Ultimate on that, it went south very fast.

    Also, another problem was the changed driver architecutre. The same driver architecture Windows 7 uses. The thing is when Vista launched, all stuff was still made for XP and so there was a little transition period needed. Of course, it ran its course and by the time Windows 7 was ready to launch, the transition was over and hardware vendors were very much on-board with the new architecture, making it seem like Windows 7 "fixed" the problem.

    Windows 7 is just Vista with a horrid GUI and a different name, which also had a horrid GUI.

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