Why Microsoft’s tablets didn’t work

There are ads all over Manhattan for Microsoft’s tablets.

They have to position against the iPad because that’s the first thing anyone thinks of when they think about a Microsoft tablet. How is it different from an iPad?

Microsoft’s answer is that it’s serious and for business.

Not very compelling, because I don’t understand how a tablet could be for one or the other. Microsoft’s tablets have less software than Apple’s. In order for it to be more serious it would have to have software that Apple doesn’t. I believe it’s the other way around.

But there are applications that Apple’s tablet should be doing well that it isn’t. It’s really shitty for watching TV. If you want to watch a live program on an iPad, like a sporting event, if you want to use the tablet as a second screen, you need to have a second tablet! Because switching to a different app puts the TV app to sleep. So you can’t look something up on the web while watching a game.

Now I know it’s technically possible for a tablet to allow you to access one app while another app continues to run. I used to be able to do this on netbooks. I was also able to access a file server, so I didn’t have to have a copy of a video to be able to watch it. Hey even today there are plenty of things worth watching that aren’t on Netflix. And Netflix works just like TV on an iPad. You have to switch in to watch it, so you need a second iPad to get a second screen.

Why doesn’t Microsoft make their tablet really good at this, and position accordingly. Assuming Apple doesn’t fix the problem too soon for that. đŸ˜‰

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About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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