Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Windows 8 Tablet rant...

Of course this only makes sense if you've already noticed that the "home" desktop is dead, the personal laptop is your "fixed" machine now. The laptop no longer moves (except on long trips maybe) and you use a tablet "to make due" very well. That or an ultrabook.

So in this world, if people can't see the advantages of such a "Win8 tablet" thing, then "people" gonna be surprised when they hit the market and succeed.

Let's see why the iPad is so terrible (besides the price):

- iTunes
- no 16/9 aspect ratio
- no standard access ports such as USB
- no file system browsing
- poor and/or miserable DLNA / Airplay or other NW related abilities
- nonexistent native or poor 3rd party "Office" support.
(I do not care about a proprietary solution that only works well on MAC, when the "rest of the word", especially Europe uses Office, period.)
- oh, and did I mention mandatory use of effin' iTunes?
- having to convert files to a compatible format and then sync via iTunes on one authorized machine?
- having to limit yourself to manage your music library on, yes... one machine. Via iTunes.

Android address this iPad thing the wrong way. They tried to do "the same" but better. Which, lets face, was a fairly difficult if not impossible task.

So they tried cheaper and more usable (file system, alleged DLNA support etc). But about the same prices (for identical HW specs) and always lacking the user experience an iPad can provide. As usual on something that comes from Apple, it may not do everything, but what it does it does extremely well.

But they just tried to imitate used the inspiration they got from Apple to do "what people want". Trouble is, people do not know what they want. They want what they're told it's best and delivers. You can't expect to succeed when people that sell your hardware say "yes, it's more expensive, but... it's an iPad".

Fragmentation and having the market flood with crapware also doesn't help...

And the Apps... or the App Store vs Market/Play? Is there even need for a comparison?

Microsoft is coming in strong and with strong possibilities of success on a Windows owners/users market. Yes the mobile success was very low with WP7 but this is different. You can still have your Android, or iPhone and choose a Win8 tablet that will work seamless in you home network, or your work network or resources.

With a Win8 tablet you can simply browse your home PC's simple file sharing, no 3rd party apps needed.

You can open files from anywhere, including a USB drive. And you can virtually open anything (that matters) with a native PC application or a free one like VLC.

Going on a trip? Browse to your home PC and copy/paste the files/movies you need for the journey. From you sofa... sounds good?

Your company uses Office and Exchange? Done. 100% compatible. No one will even notice where you're replying from, or where you made/edited the document unless you tell them with a cheesy auto-signature "sent from my...."

Also, IT managers will love to have sales forces use tablets instead of laptops. MUCH less support. Basically a combination of key presses will restore it, no dead hard drives and with Windows and Outlook, all the paranoid system managers will be able to enforce the policies they love from their networks and exchange servers.

Don't believe me? Ok, how about these guys? (click images for article)

And the idea to embed a keyboard on the smart cover is... well, very Apple like actually. Simple and brilliant.

So besides prices, the only thing Microsoft has to deliver is a proper user experience. No "blue screens of death", no freezing up, no 5 minute boot or Log-ons. A good tactile experience both on the tablet and the keyboard, and then it'll be an alternative to the pretty iPad and pretty iOS and their pretty apps.

Beacuse "screw apps". When the OS will allow you to do everything you (the common user) really need, the rest is Angry Birds.

But there's still a lot of time and room for MS to mess it up...

Oh, and screw all the comments about how "they copied" this or that from whomever, like the Nexus dev program or the Transformer form factor or the Apple smart cover.

They are doing it last. They are doing it their way, while incorporating what's proven to be right from others. Or doing one better (smart cover with embedded keyboard for the win!). Yes, yes... no big deal. That's what say said about Columbus's egg.

edit: ...or you can look at it like this, much easier to get! :-)
via @isaach

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