Beleaguered Microsoft, Intel floundering in effort to combat Apple’s mighty iPad, iPad mini

“A push by Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. to combat Apple Inc.’s iPad in the $63.2 billion tablet market is getting off to a slow start,” Ian King & Dina Bass report for Bloomberg.

“Early demand for Microsoft’s first computer, the Surface tablet, seems ‘disappointing,’ said Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. And computer makers have been hampered in introducing tablets by limits Microsoft imposed on which manufacturers got a crack at prototypes, and by delays in Intel power-management software,” King and Bass report. “The holdup is making it harder for personal-computer makers, already beleaguered by plummeting demand, to challenge Apple and Google Inc. during the year-end holiday shopping season.”

MacDailyNews Take: Beleaguered. 🙂

King and Bass report, “FBR’s Berger wrote in a note last week that Surface sales ‘have underwhelmed expectations.’ Microsoft has declined to comment on Surface sales, which isn’t a positive sign, said Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. ‘When Microsoft is stealthy about numbers, that usually means something,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People want real iPads, not garbage with a kickstand.

Related articles:
Microsoft Surface Pro to offer only half the battery life of Apple’s latest iPad with Retina display – November 30, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet flops, orders reportedly cut in half – November 29, 2012
TechCrunch’s Siegler reviews Microsoft Surface RT: ‘It’s time for a drop test – right into the garbage can’ – November 19, 2012
Slate reviews Microsoft’s Surface tablet: Too slow, mercilessly buggy; why is it so bad? – November 6, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Microsoft Surface RT: A disappointment; you’re better off with Apple’s iPad – October 31, 2012
Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. In the article, “beleaguered” was referring to personal computer manufacturers. We’ll have to wait a little longer to put that label on Microsoftie. I can wait.

  2. Just out of curiosity: has MDN ever actually, you know, USED a Surface tablet? I was always taught that if you’re going to talk bad about something, you should at the very least experience it yourself before you do. I’ve messed around with a Surface tablet and it indeed sucks compared to my iPad, but I at least saw it for myself.

    1. I don’t know what you’re talking about!?!
      I have never “experienced” Celine Dion, Beyonce or Brittany Spears but I can categorically tell you that they’re all bad!

      1. I, on the other hand, HAVE driven a Yugo; it was a company car! (Cheapskate boss).
        It was, as you’ve rightly assumed, utter crap; quite possibly one of the very worst cars ever foisted on an innocent public.

    2. Well, GeeOne, as you can see, the jeering mob is completely ignorant of the Surface’s actual in-hand performance. Nasty rhetoric is no match for firsthand knowledge.

      Had Microsoft been competent enough to match the iPad 4 on price, the MDN echo chamber could very well have been silenced by this time next year. Despite their ham-handed ways, Microsoft still has the far bigger army of Win-Doze developers, especially in high-value and mission-critical software titles. For this reason alone, the Surface Pro may actually catch on as a replacement for current devotees of ultralight Wintel laptops.

      By overpricing its battery-challenged Surface Pro and its hideous Win8 interface, MS has presented Apple an opportunity.

      But i continue to be disappointed by Tim Cook’s plodding slow steps to take advantage of them. Why is there no huge push to get MacBook Airs into the enterprise? Why is iWork so stale? Why no apparent effort to bring flagship developers of business software onto the Mac and iOS platforms? Why does every generation of Apple hardware become less and less user-optimizable?

      Let’s hope Cook pulls something out of the hat in 2013, because predictable incremental hardware updates and lackluster hit-and-miss software releases are NOT what we Apple users have come to expect. Brainlessly cheering on every step Apple makes is the sure way to ensure Apple coasts its way to mediocrity, folks.

  3. Steve Ballmer will be issuing a statement today telling consumer and corporate users how Microsoft is too big to fail and something about how hard it is for junkies to go cold turkey. Microsoft would give its products away to hold onto market share rather than fall to the likes of Apple.

    I’m certain Wall Street is still betting on Microsoft over Apple and Apple’s decidedly lower P/E indicates that much.

  4. As an ApplyFanboi I wanted to see what all the non-fuss is about on this Surface thingy. I went to my local BestBuy, usually a den of Windoze freaks to touch the Surface. The know me there as an ApplyFanboi (there is an Apple area since we don’t have an Apple Store here) and I when I walked over to Surface, my good Windoze dude, Mark, said “don’t even bother”. I told him I wasn’t here with Fanboi hat on, but genuinely wanted to look. He informed me that over 75% of the Surfaces they sold on Black Friday weekend have been returned. Number one complaint: no apps or won’t play with existing computer apps. That’s devastating. I looked at it and its not typical MS garbage but its got a looooong way to go. But why should a consumer wait for it? Mark tells me there are a few die hard antiApple freaks out there, but even they recognize that the end is near. And he said the iPad mini outsold the Surface at a ratio to high for them to count.

    1. The reasons you listed are why the Surface RT (Arm) version will do very poorly in the near term.

      The “real” Windows Surface with Intel processor has the potential to sell better for hard-core Windows fans, except that it will likely cost a lot. The cost may significantly exceed many of the “Ultrabooks” that are subsidized by Intel and copying Apple’s MBA/MBP designs. Unless you need the glitz and flash of a reconfigurable notebook/tablet (which have never been very successful in the marketplace), who would be foolish enough to pay more for less?

      1. Microsoft, with Windows and lots of help from Dell, HP and the like have been trying to sell Intel/Windows Tablets for over 10 years without any real success.

        What has changed to make you think they will sell Intel/Windows Tablets in the eleventh or twelfth year?

  5. With the Surface, the Pro is the one to watch and it won’t be out for over a month from now. That one will *supposedly* be binary compatible with Windows 8 apps for the desktop/laptop world — we’ll see. Will the business world pick it up IF it lives up to this binary compatibility? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

    If Microsoft is going to make a dent it will be there.

    Most people forget the Star Trek project at Apple. Apple was doing variations of its various OS versions on Intel hardware as far back as the mid 90s. Apple learned a LOT about running Mac apps on Intel in those years — a lot of very necessary learning.

    Microsoft has only been working on Windows on ARM for a couple of years. Of course this first version rushed out in such a short time sucks. How could it not? Do a quick and dirt port of an OS (oooh, sounds like a flash back to QDOS!) and you get a schlock product. Will Microsoft be able to fix this misfit in future generations or will they abandon it? Only time will tell. Microsoft is notorious about putting out something that is mediocre at best then by rev 3 or rev 4 have something that is finally ready for prime time.

    1. Windows Pro Tablets have been sold for over 10 years. They worked with all Windows software, including malware, and they didn’t sell because they were too heavy, had bad battery life and a noisy fan.

      Selling a Microsoft branded Windows Tablet that is big, heavy, has bad battery life, malware and has a noisy fan will not Work. The Pro is just like all other Microsoft Tablets ever made. Confusing OS software won’t make it sell it any better that it has sold in the last 10 years.

  6. I looked up “Understatement” in the dictionary, and this was the example:

    “A push by Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. to combat Apple Inc.’s iPad in the $63.2 billion tablet market is getting off to a slow start.”

  7. I’m surprised MS devoted so much attention to the kickstand and keyboard. Makes them seem necessary to use the thing, which makes it a more awkward laptop…. Which nobody asked for. I should have grown to expect bad marketing from Redmond… But I think this Surface campaign is particularly bad… Even for Microsoft.

  8. I am surprised that no one commented on this:
    “Early demand for Microsoft’s first computer, the Surface tablet,”

    With Apple and their iPads, most “tech info gathering” companies and even tech news companies still refuse to call or list the iPad into the “computer” category.

    NOW that MS has made a “tablet” it is listed as a “MS’s first computer!”

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