Microsoft and Google won’t have a price advantage with iPad, so they’ll have to actually make a better product

“Last week Microsoft kinda-sorta announced its new Microsoft Surface tablet computer. This week will come a Google-branded tablet. Both are pitted against the mighty iPad. Both companies see opportunity because of what they perceive as a Steve Jobs blind spot. And both companies are introducing tablets under their own brands because they can’t their get OEM’s to do tablets correctly,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely.

“For all the speculation about why Microsoft or Google would risk offending hardware OEMs by introducing name branded tablets, the reality is that neither company really had any choice but to make the hardware. In the commodity PC market, no one company is likely to be willing to make the investment necessary to compete with the highly-integrated iPad,” Cringely writes. “Samsung tried, and even then it didn’t pay off for them. Taiwan Inc + Dell just don’t seem to run that way. Furthermore, it is a lot easier to make a product when you control the operating system. You have the experts right there.”

Cringely writes, “Both Microsoft and Google can compete at around the same price as Apple (for the WindowsRT and Android versions) but no less. Microsoft’s Windows 8 version will cost more due to the Intel tax and the Windows license tax… The real question is software. iPads suck for productivity apps like Office. This is of course by design, because Steve Jobs did not value the enterprise market (that’s the blind spot). Both Microsoft and Google tablets will be aimed squarely at that spot, with the Microsoft tablet being essentially an Office/Exchange machine and the Google tablet dedicated to Google Apps… I have to assume that Apple is going to provide a major revamp of iWork one of these days, plus an integrated iPad/Macbook Air type of productivity product… With Steve Jobs gone and Apple finally allowed to take some cues from the marketplace, what these two tablets may do most of all is awaken a sleeping giant, filling him with terrible resolve.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People who actually use iPads know that they do not “suck for productivity apps.” That is extremely weak, yet widely-sown FUD from the iPad roadkill.

Good luck with making better, more integrated products than Apple, vertical integration newbies.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers “Judge Bork” and “Jeff C.” for the heads up.]


  1. “iPads suck for productivity apps like Office. This is of course by design, because Steve Jobs did not value the enterprise market (that’s the blind spot).”

    Joseph Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

    From its introduction, people have said that iPad is for content consumption only. This is patently false, and I use my iPad for most of my content creation, and it’s only improving as time progresses. The iPad is great for productivity, it is Microsoft that has yet to take advantage of it, not Apple that has crippled it.

  2. “iPads suck for productivity apps like Office.”

    Give me a break! iWork runs on the iPad and there are numerous creativity and productivity apps for the iPad (Photoshop Touch, Brushes, Bento, Documents To Go). Anyone who believes the Consumption Only myth deserves what they get: an inferior device.

  3. Yeah and Hockney does all his work on one at present. you cant get more productive than than that and something these two plastic ponies can only dream of having as a supreme creative talent. Fighting with Office creates mostly headaches.

  4. I just wonder, why Microsoft haven’t already presented the Office version for WOA Tablets – is it really that bad at the moment or do they still hope for a miracle in the last moment.
    And what is the definition of a productivity tool ? When it means the equevalent for hard work respictivly difficult to use, then Office on a INTEL tablet will be a good choice.
    If you seek for a efficent solution for office work to be done on a tablet with a touch interface, Microsoft will never reach the elegance and the real “no compromisses” workflow of iWork for iPad.

  5. “With Steve Jobs gone and Apple finally allowed to take some cues from the marketplace”

    Huh? Like all the other manufacturers have been doing all along, with wild success?…Wait—that didn’t happen.

    The competition has been laughable. The only remaining question is who will become the final punch line in this situation comedy: Google, the Rube Goldberg gadgeteers, or Microsoft, shooting clowns out of a cannon.

  6. Actually, Office kind of sucks as a productivity solution. People use it because they believe they have no choice, not because they want to.

    Other than that, nice article.

  7. I have 35 iPads in my company of 30 people. Some have two since they just got the retina iPad to replace the 1st generation. I spent around 25.000 Euros. Does anybody think I would have done this for fun? No. There has never been a device making people more productive and creative than the iPad. A huge value for my company.

  8. The iPad does suck for productivity.

    Even thou I can use Pages, Numbers etc. if my projects involve dozens of support files, I have to dance around Apple’s idiotic file system where I can only transfer one file at a time between apps.

    So yeah it sucks!

  9. Well now, seems that Apple has M$ right where they want them. I could see Balmy cozying up to Tim Cook and Apple, and getting a “good” office suite for iPad, while denying one for Android and Google. I’m sure MS would like it to get back to a two horse race.

  10. Cringe-worthy says Windows 8 tablets will “need to cost more due to the Intel tax and the Windows license tax.”

    Ummm…Microsoft is free to NOT charge themselves the Windows license tax on any and all Surface slablets.

    There just too greedy to let that chunk of change go, huh??

    1. Oh they will, and when it’s time to upgrade you’ll be paying a big chunk of change if you can even upgrade the windows OS on the surface.

      Badom ba cha…

  11. @Cringely: …Steve Jobs did not value the enterprise market (that’s the blind spot).

    I don’t think Steve Jobs had a blind spot about the enterprise market and he certainly DID value it!

    He just went about attacking that value in a completely different way. By going to the root factor that makes an enterprise tick (hint: those two legged things called ‘people’) and placing in their hands technology products with ‘extremely high utility value’.

    Specifically, SJ deliberately ignored the ‘masters’ leading these ‘people’ and those competitors that choose to focus on them (Microsoft, Dell et al). Hence no enterprise division in Apple to mirror the retail division in the form of Apple Stores.

    Remember his line “we will choose to do the things we will do, and the things we will NOT do”?

    This is also a clear case of not just skating up to the puck (the people in the enterprise, ready and keen for a better work-life experience through relevant technology with high utility value) but slapping it onwards to where he wants the puck to go (offering them iPhones, iPads, iTunes, iWork, Macs and now iCloud which is still in partial view as there is more to come in Mountain Lion and beyond) with the destructive effect of leaving the competition behind still looking desperately for the puck where they WANT it to be (i.e., in the hands of their beloved CTOs/CIOs informing their gullible and ignorant CEOs/COOs that no one goes wrong for buying M$ and that Apple’s offerings are just shiny toys and a passing fad…).

    One last point, if SJ had a blind spot about the enterprise market, how come he built the best, biggest most awesome and valuable enterprise in the World on its own dog food?

  12. Oh, Cringely again. What is it with that guy?

    what these two tablets may do most of all is awaken a sleeping giant, filling him with terrible resolve.

    NO. What is REALLY scary is that these POS tablets will FAIL, just like all the others, and Apple will get complacent. That’s bad.

    Competition is the father of innovation. What we have here are a bunch of crap companies who have lost the concept of competition. Apple REQUIRES competition to do their best work.

    Would someone PLEASE compete with Apple’s iPad? The OtherPads discussed here do NOT qualify.

    (If you disagree, be sure to stock up on NoDoz or your favorite energy drink. You’re going to nod off waiting for the OtherPads to catch up with Apple’s iPad). zzzzzz

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