With the announcement of a tablet from Microsoft, I found myself really excited about the possibilities.
I have not felt this way since MS decided to go into healthcare, and unfortunately that adventure did not exactly go in the direction that I’d like it to go. This one however, may work.
The reason I have high hopes for this one is that when it comes to creating a software market, there is simply no company that can match Microsoft. You may claim that Apple has done a better job via the iPhone and iPad, but as impressive as mobile market may be, it is still MS that is providing the OS that runs on 95% or more of world’s desktops.
Visual basic and .NET have created a huge market, because even though it is a monopoly (which by the way does not always mean something bad contrary to what you may have heard), MS has always been very encouraging when it comes to software development. Visual Basic 6, has recently got itself an extended support for Windows 8, a lifetime available to very few other languages. MS always wanted people to develop for its platforms, with as much limitations as possible, which in my opinion is the exact opposite of Apple.
Apple’s walled garden has walls a bit too high for my taste, and for the masses who have easy access to a Windows PC, developing for Apple platforms is still tricky at best.
Android was supposed to let the PC developers make a jump to mobile space, but due to fact that it was meant to run on lots of hardware, it ended up offering a sluggish experience on many devices.
Now we hear that MS is introducing its own tablet with its own OS (Windows obviously), and this is a direct challenging of Apple, unlike Google’s indirect attempt to give the OS to hardware manufacturers.
MS has done this before, to enter console market with XBox, and it has managed to steal almost half of the market, if not more of it, from Sony, which used to enjoy its PlayStation profits.
MS does not do hardware and software at the same time, but when they do, they are a company to watch for. They can provide links to world’s largest OS installation base, with killer software development tools, and with millions of developers out there, Apple may suddenly see competition getting tougher.
If MS does this right, and gives developers what they need, the freedom to enter the market with cheaper means of production (Visual Studio express and a PC), things will be quite interesting.
I for one welcome this challenge to tablet market, since I’ve considered Android to be an insufficient attempt so far. Android simply did not have a centre of weight, but this device may have that.
Check out the details here